Credit Management November 2019

credit

The CICM magazine for consumer and commercial credit professionals.

CREDIT MANAGEMENT

CM

NOVEMBER 2019 £12.50

THE CICM MAGAZINE FOR CONSUMER AND

COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

Small Talk

What next for the

Small Business

Commissioner?

80

YEARS

Has credit insurance

re-discovered its

form? Pages 16-17

The sale of commercial

debts is gaining

momentum. Pages 56-57


NOVEMBER 2019

www.cicm.com

22

OPINION

Tim Vine

CONTENTS

12 – FROM THE CHAIR

Looking forward to what 2020 may

bring for CICM and UK plc.

16 – INTERVIEW

Sean Feast speaks to Stuart Ramsden of

Atradius about the future of the credit

insurance industry.

22 – OPINION

The impact of the collapse of Thomas

Cook on holidaymakers and the wider

business community.

24

TOWN AND COUNTRY

Simon Blackwell

6

COVER STORY

12

FROM THE CHAIR

Pete Whitmore

FCICM

24 – TOWN AND COUNTRY

Simon Blackwell of Graydon gives

his thoughts on the business credit

information landscape.

28 – VIEW FROM THE SEAFRONT

The poverty gap in the UK is widening

and may lead to another winter of

discontent.

30 – ASK THE EXPERTS

The risk that void dispositions pose

to a supplier’s cashflow and what

businesses can do about it.

48 – CAREERS ADVICE

Karen Young looks at whether credit

professionals and their employers

are ready to embrace digital

transformation.

56 – TOWN AND COUNTRY

The purchase of commercial debt

portfolios is at an early stage of

adoption.

Publisher

Chartered Institute of Credit Management

The Water Mill, Station Road, South Luffenham

OAKHAM, LE15 8NB

Telephone: 01780 722900

Email: editorial@cicm.com

Website: www.cicm.com

CMM: www.creditmanagement.org.uk

CICM GOVERNANCE

President Stephen Baister FCICM / Chief Executive Philip King FCICM CdipAF MBA

Executive Board Pete Whitmore FCICM – Chair / Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad) – Vice Chair

Glen Bullivant FCICM – Treasurer / Larry Coltman FCICM, Victoria Herd FCICM(Grad), Bryony Pettifor FCICM(Grad)

Advisory Council Sarah Aldridge FCICM(Grad) / Laurie Beagle FCICM / Glen Bullivant FCICM / Lauren Carter FCICM /

Larry Coltman FCICM / Victoria Herd FCICM(Grad) / Philip Holbrough MCICM / Laural Jefferies FCICM Diana Keeling FCICM /

Martin Kirby FCICM / Christelle Milojkovic FCICM / Julie-Anne Moody-Webster FCICM(Grad) / Debbie Nolan FCICM(Grad) /

Ute Ogholoh MCICM / Bryony Pettifor FCICM(Grad) / Allan Poole MCICM / Phil Rice FCICM / Chris Sanders FCICM /

Paul Taylor MCICM / Pete Whitmore FCICM.

View our digital version online at www.cicm.com. Log on to the Members’

area, and click on the tab labelled ‘Credit Management magazine’

Credit Management is distributed to the entire UK and international CICM

membership, as well as additional subscribers

Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden without specific permission. Opinions expressed in this magazine do

not, unless stated, reflect those of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management. The Editor reserves the right to

abbreviate letters if necessary. The Institute is registered as a charity. The mark ‘Credit Management’ is a registered

trade mark of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.

Any articles published relating to English law will differ from laws in Scotland and Wales.

Managing Editor

Sean Feast FCICM

Deputy Editor

Alex Simmons

Art Editor

Andrew Morris

Telephone: 01780 722910

Email: andrew.morris@cicm.com

Editorial Team

Imogen Hart, Rob Howard and Iona Yadallee

Advertising

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Telephone: 020 3603 7946

Email: grace@cabbell.co.uk

Printers

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Single copies: £12.50

ISSN 0265-2099

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 3


EDITOR’S COLUMN

Don’t send your strike batsman

out to bat on a losing wicket

Sean Feast FCICM

Managing Editor

PAUL Uppal was a man on

a mission. As the Small

Business Commissioner,

he had probably one of the

most potentially rewarding

briefs of all time: to help

small businesses get their cash.

The challenge, however, was far from

easy. The role was created under the

Enterprise Act of 2016 as part of a package

of measures to tackle the late and unfair

payment practices adopted by larger

companies (over 50 employees) over their

smaller suppliers (under 50 employees).

Specifically, that means advising,

signposting and dealing with complaints.

Paul said at the time of his

appointment: “Successful businesses are

built on integrity, entrepreneurial spirit

and trusting relationships and I want to

highlight that Britain can be the best place

for new entrepreneurs to establish and

grow their own businesses.”

Two years into the role and Paul

claimed, with justifiable pride, a 100

percent success rate in all of the cases that

have been referred to date. That amounts

to well over £5 million back in the hands

of small businesses – not bad for a man

who spent his formative years being asked

if he could speak English, and having to

overcome the surprise on people’s faces

when he said he could not only speak

English, but read it as well!

But now he’s gone. And that’s a pity,

for Paul’s honesty in relation to the

challenge of late payment was refreshing.

He did not pretend to be the sole arbiter

of the solution. He absolutely recognised

that ‘solving’ late payment, if indeed it is

possible, is about a package of measures

and a co-ordinated, concerted approach

from all those with a vested interest. It

is also about tapping into the existing

knowledge and guidance of those who

have been at the forefront of the issue for

many years, not least the CICM in devising

and administering the Prompt Payment

Code.

The Government has made no secret

of wanting to shift responsibility of the

Code to the SBC. It was one of a series of

measures in the recent response to its Call

for Evidence. Paul told Credit Management

before his dismissal that he welcomed

‘…any additional provisions which will

strengthen the influence my Office has

in tackling poor payment practice and

levelling the existing playing field.’

It was a carefully crafted answer,

but one that is understandable in these

uncertain times. What, perhaps, he

couldn’t say then but I can now, is that

whatever these ‘additional provisions’ may

be, if the Code is to be transitioned across,

then the Government needs to ensure the

necessary resources, support and expertise

are accessible to make it a success.

Late payment is firmly fixed on

the political agenda. For the moment,

however, Government plans seem to be

on hold. When a new SBC is appointed,

I would urge the Government to match

words with cash. If they do not, then they

are sending out their strike batsman to bat

on a losing wicket.

“Successful businesses are built on

integrity, entrepreneurial spirit and trusting

relationships and I want to highlight

that Britain can be the best place for new

entrepreneurs to establish and grow their

own businesses.”

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 4


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The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 5


CMNEWS

A round-up of news stories from the

world of consumer and commercial credit.

Written by – Sean Feast FCICM and Alex Simmons

SBC departure leaves

Government plans on hold

THE Small Business

Commissioner, Paul Uppal, has

been removed from his post in

a shock announcement that

leaves the Government’s late

payment drive on hold.

Credit Management understands

that Mr Uppal was sacked over an

alleged conflict of interest in relation

to his involvement in establishing a

bank redress scheme. The scheme is

intended to help small and medium-sized

companies with unresolved complaints

to get an independent view of their

grievance.

A Government statement, however,

insists that ‘…the important work of the

Small Business Commissioner’s Office

continues while the process to recruit his

replacement gets underway.’

Fiona Dickie, the Deputy Pubs Code

Adjudicator, will provide oversight in

the Small Business Commissioner

role until early November, pending

the appointment of an interim

Commissioner.

The role of the Small Business

Commissioner was created under

the Enterprise Act of 2016 as part of a

package of measures to tackle the late

and unfair payment practices often

(though not universally) adopted by

larger companies (over 50 employees)

over their smaller suppliers (under 50

employees). Quoting official sources:

‘The Commissioner has responsibility

for advising, signposting and dealing

with complaints … across England, Wales,

Scotland and Northern Ireland.’

Since being appointed to the role, Mr

Uppal and his team have helped many

small businesses to recover money that

was rightfully theirs and claim a 100

percent success rate in all of the cases

that have been referred to date. That

amounts to well over £5 million back in

the hands of small businesses.

Mr Uppal, a former Conservative MP,

was working closely with the Chartered

Institute of Credit Management (CICM) on

a plan to transition responsibility for the

Prompt Payment Code from the Institute

to the SBC. This plan is now likely to

be delayed, temporarily at least, as are

other proposals to help small businesses

including fines for those who habitually

abuse their supplier relationships.

Philip King FCICM, Chief Executive

of the CICM, expressed surprise at Mr

Uppal’s departure: “The Small Business

Commissioner had settled into the role

and was starting to make real progress.

We were developing a good working

relationship, shared many common

views, and our collaboration was proving

positive and productive. I hope to have a

similarly successful relationship with his

successor.”

Mike Cherry, Federation of Small

Businesses (FSB) National Chairman,

described the news as a disappointing

development: “The appointment process

needs to be efficient and thorough.

We lose 50,000 business a year to late

payment at a cost of at least £2.5 billion

to the economy. We can’t delay further

action to tackle this crisis, especially in

such an uncertain climate.”

An open recruitment campaign

to appoint a new Small Business

Commissioner is now underway.

“The Small Business

Commissioner had

settled into the role and

was starting to make

real progress. We were

developing a good working

relationship, shared many

common views, and our

collaboration was proving

positive and productive.’’

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 6


Report finds millennials are

most at risk from fraud

FINANCIAL fraud has risen by 14

percent this year according to data from

Experian, with criminals turning their

attention to younger people who have

just bought their first home.

The overall rise has been driven

largely by an increase in debit and

credit card fraud, which has risen by 60

percent in the first six months of 2019,

compared to the same period a year

previously.

Fraud against younger people

who have bought their first homes in

affordable suburbs increased by 35

percent in the first half of the year.

People in these households may have

mailboxes which are accessible to

fraudsters, or their information has

been compromised in a data breach.

The increase is largely due to the group

seeing a 91 percent rise in card fraud

over the period.

Overall, the data suggests that

Millennials have the highest risk of

being defrauded as a proportion of the

population. People aged 25-34 are 78

percent more likely to be the target of

fraud, based on population size. Many

people of this age live in flats with

JUST THE TONIC

Manchester-based Didsbury Gin

has agreed a new invoice finance

deal with Aldermore to help fund

the business plans to upscale and

continue growing. Described by

Vogue as ‘one of the most exciting

new British gins’, the company was

founded by Liam Manton and Mark

Smallwood. From humble beginnings

in a home-based distillery and

juggling full-time jobs, Liam and

Mark’s ambition was to create a bright,

vibrant and zesty gin they’d enjoy

drinking themselves and it has been

a huge success. It is now produced

at an award-winning distillery in

Leicestershire. aldermore.co.uk

CICM launches new member panel

CICM is always looking to put members

and the credit profession at the heart of

everything we do. Our member promise

is to deliver the best possible services,

support, advice and tools to drive our

members’ success in their career,

business and day-to-day work.

To do this, we know we need to

listen to our CICM members, learners

and customers. So, we are launching

the CICM Member Panel. Made up of

CICM members, customers and credit

professionals across industries and

countries, the CICM Member Panel will

be asked by the CICM for feedback,

input and ideas on current and proposed

communal mail areas, where fraudsters

can intercept the plastic cards needed to

commit fraud without being detected.

To help tackle fraud, Experian says

it has developed machine learning

technology to further improve the

accuracy of applications which are

flagged to lenders’ fraud teams for closer

inspection.

Globally, the company claims this

process is reducing genuine customers

being flagged as fraudulent by more

than 50 percent, while increasing fraud

detection by 75 percent and reducing

missed fraud by up to 80 percent. Across

the world, each year Experian says it

saves nearly £4 billion stopping fraud

before it is committed.

Nick Mothershaw, Director of Identity

and Fraud Solutions at Experian UK&I,

says machine learning is a vital tool

in identifying fraudulent applications:

“Putting this technology in place means

it’s more likely genuine customers

can apply for the financial products

they want without the friction of being

referred, giving fraud teams the time to

focus on bogus applications.”

experian.co.uk

products and services, membership

benefits, training and qualifications, and

government consultations.

It is a voluntary panel that any credit

professional can opt in to. For the panel

to be successful and useful, we need

a cross section of people with varying

levels of experience, across industries,

size and types of business.

So, if you can think of anyone who

you think would like to be part of this

new panel – please share the link below

where they can register and find out

more.

cognitoforms.com/CICM/

CICMMemberPanelRegistration.

>NEWS

IN BRIEF

LENDERS CLAIM FCA

RULES SEEM RISKY

PEER-to-peer lenders are unconcerned

about investors passing appropriateness

tests but are worried about the perception

of new Financial Conduct Authority

(FCA) regulations. From 9 December,

P2P lenders will have to introduce

appropriateness tests and can only

market their products to sophisticated,

high-net-worth individuals or those who

commit only to investing a maximum

of 10 percent of their assets. RateSetter

and Zopa both said most investors

have passed appropriateness tests

in trials operated by their platforms.

However, speaking at the LendIt Fintech

conference in London, executives from

both platforms warned the changes make

P2P lending appear more risky than it is.

Natasha Wear, Chief Executive of Zopa’s

P2P business, said the appropriateness

tests will most likely contain six to 10

questions, but warned it may put people

off if they are already uncertain about

the product: “There is a friction with

appropriateness tests. The investor

pool will become smaller if there is a

perception that we are something more

risky than we actually are.” fca.org.uk

JUST OPEN

THE implementation of Open Banking is

improving, but banks still have some way

to go before meeting the recommended

standards, according to a report from

Growth Street. The peer-to-peer business

lender analysed figures from the Open

Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE)

regarding its API downtime monitoring

tool. Its research found that just three in

12 banks achieved at least 99.5 percent

availability in the second quarter of this

year. The average availability across all 12

banks was 95 percent. During downtime,

Open Banking customers are unable

to access some integration features

including the viewing of borrowing

options from other financial institutions.

growthstreet.co.uk

GROWING PAINS

THE age at which UK men and women

finally feel secure in their finances is 31,

according to Zopa. The peer-to-peer lender

conducted nationwide research and found

that by their early 30s Brits have reduced

credit card spending along with building

robust savings accounts and paying into

pension plans. Men felt they reached

a state of money maturity at 29, while

women feel they reached the level four

years later at age 33. Almost two-thirds of

those surveyed said regularly paying into

a savings account is the best indicator of

being good with money. zopa.com

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 7


NEWS

IN BRIEF

NEW GLOBAL

CHAIRMAN

AFTER 15 years as Chairman of the

leading international accountancy

and consulting network, Moore

Stephens International, now Moore

Global, Richard Moore announced his

decision to step down at the end of

2019. Richard will remain an active

member of the network through Moore

Family Office Limited, specialising in

advising international private client

families. Andy Armanino will succeed

Richard as Chairman of Moore Global

from 1 January 2020. Andy is currently

a member of Moore Global’s board

and until 1 January 2019 was CEO and

Managing Partner of Armanino LLP.

moore-global.com

Good CICMQ news for publisher

DESPITE significant changes within

its credit department, the credit

management team at Reach PLC

continues to work to the highest

standards of best practice.

This was the assessment of Sharon

Adams, CICMQ Assessor, in awarding

Reach its Quality accreditation: ‘As a

team, their creativity knows no bounds

and there was a ‘buzz’ in the department

throughout the assessment process,’ her

report says.

Reach PLC is the largest national

and regional news publisher in the UK,

with titles such as the Daily Mirror,

Daily Express and Daily Star, as well

as regionals including the Manchester

Evening News and Liverpool Echo.

Its credit team consists of 26 people

split across four teams – inbound, trade

ledger, key accounts, and legal – all

based in Leicester.

Amil Majithia, Credit Manager

at Reach says changes within the

business led to some uncertainty: “The

department lost focus on some of the

good processes it had in place like

process improvement. The assessment

pushed us to find ways to improve what

we do and work together as a team to

deliver a positive outcome.

‘‘We have learned to always

keep the team motivated and

working positively, which had

a big impact on the success of

the department.”

“With a number of ongoing projects,

system migrations, management

changes and implementation of a new

sales ledger system, it was at times

difficult to focus on the accreditation. We

have learned to always keep the team

motivated and working positively, which

had a big impact on the success of the

department.”

UK to be hit hardest in

global insolvencies rise

GLOBAL insolvencies are

rising for the first time in

a decade with the greatest

uptick seen in the UK,

according to economists

quoted in Atradius’ new Insolvency

Outlook report.

The report forecasts that business

failure rates in developed markets will

increase by 2.8 percent this year – the

first rise since the global financial crisis.

The rise is largely driven by the loss of

momentum in the global economy with

growth forecast to slow from 3.2 percent

last year down to 2.6 percent.

Across Western Europe, business

failures are forecast to increase by 2.7

percent this year and 0.7 percent in

2020. Slowing economic growth, the

escalation of the US-China trade war and

looming uncertainty surrounding Brexit

and Italian politics are the key drivers of

the upswing. The UK faces the highest

insolvency increase across all advanced

markets, forecast to rise as much as 10

percent in 2019.

Economists say that continuing Brexit

uncertainty brings delay to any recovery

of sterling, keeps inflation elevated

and prolongs the drag on business

investment. 2020 is forecast to be

another difficult year with a five percent

insolvency increase; based on a scenario

where Article 50 is extended in October

with a smooth transition. However, the

prospects of a no-deal Brexit or further

delay to Brexit followed by a general

election are likely to put further upward

pressure on failure rates, Atradius says.

Elsewhere in Europe, a four percent

increase is forecast for Switzerland, Italy

and Belgium. The record-high rate of

business failures in Switzerland stems

from the aftermath of the Eurozone debt

crisis and the scrapping of the Swiss

franc’s ceiling against the euro. In Italy,

the insolvency rise is the lagged effect

from the mild recession in H2 2018 with

future outlook subject to high political

uncertainty.

Meanwhile, weaker external demand

is expected to weigh upon economic

activity in France, with a three percent

insolvency increase this year. Cooling

growth and elevated uncertainty

in Germany is expected to increase

insolvencies by one percent this year

with a one percent rise also forecast for

the Netherlands.

Following a very strong decrease in H1,

down nearly 29 percent, the insolvency

outlook in Ireland no longer forecasts an

increase for 2019 although it is likely to

see a two percent rise next year; albeit

the reality will be heavily influenced by

the Brexit outcome. In Spain, after a four

percent increase in 2018, insolvencies

are forecast to decline five percent in

2019 with a decline of six percent also

forecast for Portugal.

Across the Atlantic, a reversal in the

downward trend of annual insolvencies

is expected in the US with a forecast

rise of three percent this year and

two percent in 2020 on the back of

trade policy uncertainty, higher tariffs

on Chinese imports and increasing

financial vulnerabilities. Insolvencies in

the Asia-Pacific region also face the first

annual increase since 2009. In Japan,

a two percent increase in insolvencies

is forecast for both this year and next,

while in Australia, insolvencies are also

expected to increase two percent in

2019 but countered with a three percent

decline forecast for 2020. (See our

interview page 16).

atradius.co.uk

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 8


FRC launches investigation

into Thomas Cook auditing

THE Financial Reporting Council (FRC)

has responded to pressure from the

Department for Business, Energy and

Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to launch

an investigation into EY’s auditing of

Thomas Cook.

In the immediate aftermath of the

travel company’s collapse, Business

Secretary Andrea Leadsom wrote to

the regulator asking it to ‘consider the

investigation as a matter of priority’

and saying this should ’examine not

only the conduct of those directors,

past and present, in the preparation

of the accounts, but also the conduct

and practice of the auditors of those

accounts’.

The FRC reacted with the launch of

an investigation into EY’s audit of the

financial statements of Thomas Cook

Group for the year ended 30 September

2018. The investigation will be conducted

by its enforcement division under the

audit enforcement procedure.

In a statement, the regulator said: ‘The

FRC will keep under close review both

the scope of this investigation and the

question of whether to open any other

investigation in relation to Thomas Cook,

liaising with other relevant regulators to

the fullest extent permissible.’

CASHING OUT

A report by UK Finance has suggested

that fewer than one in 10 purchases will

involve cash by the year 2028. The rise

of contactless payments means many

consumers no longer carry notes and

coins and only four percent mainly use

cash. The report also found that 6,240

cash machines were removed during

2018, taking the total down to 63,360.

ukfinance.org.uk

>NEW FINTECH ENVOY

ANDREW Jenkins, a director of the data analytics company Arity,

has been appointed as the Government’s new Fintech Envoy for

Northern Ireland. Jenkins, appointed by the Economic Secretary

to the Treasury, John Glen, will become the lead ambassador for

Northern Ireland’s Fintech sector, promoting it as a place for firms to

develop and grow their business. More than 36,000 people are now

employed in the financial services sector in Northern Ireland. gov.uk

EY flagged a number of significant

concerns about Thomas Cook over the

last 18 months, most recently when

Thomas Cook issued its half year results

in May. In the annual report for yearend

April 2018, the auditor also warned

Thomas Cook about issues around

journal reporting and debt repayment

terms. EY has been auditor of Thomas

Cook for two years since 2017. It was

appointed in 2017, taking over from

fellow Big Four firm PwC, which had

audited the business since 2008. EY

reportedly earned £3 million in audit

fees and a further £1 million in nonaudit

services (NAS) for year-end 2018,

although there are no details in the

annual report about the type of NAS

provided.

The BEIS select committee launched

its own inquiry into the events

surrounding Thomas Cook’s liquidation.

The inquiry will focus on issues around

the stewardship and leadership of the

company, executive remuneration,

accounting practices and the role of

auditors EY and PwC. It is also likely to

examine the impact on small businesses

and suppliers of the collapse of Thomas

Cook. (See the article on page 22.)

frc.org.uk

DODGY WONGA

ADMINISTRATORS have revealed that

payday lender Wonga has received

389,621 claims for mis-selling since it

collapsed. The administrators hope to

make payouts to those owed money

by the end of January, although it is

unlikely compensation will be paid out

in full, as those entitled to payouts are

among the host of creditors to receive a

cut of the assets. grantthornton.co.uk

>NEWS

IN BRIEF

LIFE SUPPORT

THE Government has launched a new

dedicated investment programme

of up to £600 million to unlock the

potential of the UK’s best health and

life science innovations, allowing

companies to grow and ensure the UK

remains a world-leader in life sciences

innovation. Companies in the sector

have historically struggled to access

the right sort of finance to fulfil their

growth potential. The funding will

comprise £200 million of investment

through the government-owned British

Business Bank, with private sector

investment expected to contribute

around a further £400 million.

british-business-bank.co.uk

EXPORT

BENCHMARKING

THE British Exporters Association

(BExA) has launched its 10th annual

benchmarking of UK Export Finance

(UKEF), which provides an analysis

of UKEF’s activities and reflects upon

the range and quality of support over

the last 12 months, the last decade,

and in comparison to other countries’

export credit agencies. The paper

coincides with UKEF’s centenary year

and is entitled ‘100 years underwriting

exports’. It notes that UKEF’s product

range has widened considerably over

the last decade.

bexa.co.uk

CICM Essentials

RECENT briefings include a blog from CEO

Philip King on how businesses will be

impacted after 31 October, details of the

CICM response to the Insolvency Service

call for evidence, and joint research between

ACCA and CICM relating to changes to risk

assessing customers over the last five years.

IRISH JOB BOOST

THE Big Four firm EY will push its

headcount across Ireland to almost

3,700 – 366 of the roles will be based in

the firm’s two Dublin offices, with 234

roles spread across the firm’s offices in

Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford,

with 96 new roles going to Belfast in

Northern Ireland. Of the 600 new roles,

237 will be new experienced hires to

be filled by June 2020 and 363 roles

will be graduates to start no later than

October 2020. The roles will cover

several areas including in

the traditional services line

of tax, corporate finance

and audit, as well as data

analytics, digital strategy

and cyber. ey.com/en_ie

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 9


NEWS

IN BRIEF

LIQUIDITY RULES

NEW rules imposed by the Financial

Conduct Authority (FCA) that will

force fund managers to disclose more

information around liquidity risk to

investors will not come into effect

for another 12 months, according to

reports. The FCA is tightening its

checks on open-ended property funds

after expanding the pool of funds

that are subject to daily monitoring,

after fears of a possible no-deal

Brexit prompted a wave of investor

withdrawals. However, it is understood

that the new regulations will not come

into effect until September 2020, more

than four years after several property

funds suddenly blocked investors’

access to their money in the wake of

the Brexit referendum. Additionally,

the FCA said the new rules would not

apply to EU-regulated funds known as

UCITS, that include the Woodford fund.

fca.org.uk

REVOLUTIONARY

THINKING

REVOLUT has agreed a deal with Visa

that will see the digital bank expand

into 24 new countries. The move will

see Revolut increase its headcount

from 1,500 employees to 5,000 next year.

The start-up is now planning to offer

its service in Japan and America by the

end of 2019.

revolut.com

FINGERPRINT

CREDIT CARD

NATWEST has launched a biometric

credit card allowing contactless

payments using fingerprint verification.

A three-month trial with 150 customers

will offer contactless payments for

transactions of up to £100, with the

bank working with Mastercard and

digital security company Gemalto to

further roll out the service.

personal.natwest.com

RISKY BUSINESS

SHEREE Howard has been appointed

as Executive Director of Risk and

Compliance Oversight (R&CO) at the

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Sheree

is currently Interim Director of R&CO

having joined the FCA as a Senior Advisor

in December 2017. Prior to joining the

FCA, Sheree spent more than 25 years in

financial services, both in the insurance

and banking sectors. fca.org.uk

UK businesses fear impact of

Brexit on the supply chain

ONE third (33 percent) of UK

businesses are concerned

about the potential impact

Brexit will have on their

suppliers and customers,

according to research from R3.

The research from a survey of 1,200

senior business financial decisionmakers

found that 11 percent of

businesses have reviewed the potential

impact of Brexit on their suppliers and

customers and are ‘very concerned’ by

what they had found; another 22 percent

were ‘somewhat’ concerned.

Duncan Swift, R3 President, says it’s a

serious worry that so many businesses

feel they are exposed to a supply chain

risk as a result of Brexit: “A key part

of preparing for Brexit is looking at

how it affects your supply chain and

customers. It’s all very well making sure

your own business has put adaptation

plans in place, but these plans might

not help if the businesses you depend

on – customers and suppliers – are

unprepared.”

A further 16 percent of businesses

said they had yet to review the potential

impact of Brexit on their supplier and

customer network. More positively, 38

percent of businesses have reviewed

the impact of Brexit on their suppliers

and are either ‘somewhat reassured’ (23

percent) or ‘very reassured’ (15 percent).

Over a fifth (23 percent) of businesses

employing up to 49 people said that they

hadn’t reviewed the potential impact of

Brexit on their suppliers or customers,

compared to just three percent of

companies employing over 250 people

who were in the same situation.

Of the four sectors covered by the

research (manufacturing, construction,

retail, and services), the least prepared

are those working in the construction

sector (18 percent of businesses had not

carried out a review). By contrast, only 11

percent of manufacturing companies had

not carried out a review.

Of the businesses surveyed, those in

the manufacturing sector were most

concerned by what they found; 37

percent were either ‘somewhat’ or ‘very

concerned’, compared to 40 percent who

were ‘somewhat’ or ‘very reassured’.

Companies in the retail sector were most

likely to be reassured by their review (46

percent were in this position, compared

to 28 percent who had concerns).

Elsewhere, Barclaycard Commercial

Payments is reporting that UK supplier

relationships have become more

mutually beneficial compared to five

years ago. Three quarters of procurement

leaders (73 percent) said relationships

with suppliers had strengthened

over the past five years and a similar

proportion (76 percent) believed buyers

and suppliers were communicating

more openly about business strategy.

The research said half (48 percent) of

procurement teams contacted preferred

suppliers once a week. The firm recently

established its Precisionpay Hub,

a payment platform for buyers and

suppliers to reduce pay-to invoice time

and simplify the process.

r3.org.uk

CICMQ success for Fanuc UK

FANUC UK, a subsidiary of FANUC

Europe Corporation, has achieved CICMQ

for the first time, following significant

improvements in processes driven by its

Accounts Receivable team.

Nicola Jones, Credit Control Manager

at FANUC UK, says obtaining CICMQ

accreditation is part of a mission to

support FANUC’s commitment to best

practice: “We gained a great deal from

the CICMQ process; from implementing

new processes to a more focused

departmental strategy.

“One of the key takeaways was

the development of a new query

management system to measure

disputes. Data gained from this has been

instrumental in process improvements

throughout the business. Through

continuous development and further

training with the CICM, we will continue

to strive for best practice in all areas of

credit management.”

FANUC UK brings together worldleading

capabilities in industrial

robots, machine tools and plastic

injection moulding machines to

facilitate the complete integration of

factory automation systems for UK

manufacturers.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 10


INSOLVENCY SPECIAL

Dirty Laundry

What role do insolvency practitioners play in

preventing money laundering?

AUTHOR – Michelle Thorp

Michelle Thorp

MONEY laundering has

featured in the press

a great deal recently,

with reports that

three key European

banks are facing

allegations over handling suspicious

money. This comes after the 2010-2014

Global Laundromat scheme, which,

according to reports, saw the moving of

a figure estimated to be $80 billion out

of Russia and into countries around the

world. It has also been reported that

money involved in the scheme flowed

through UK registered companies and

several high street banks.

It’s clear, therefore, that money

laundering continues to be a prevalent

issue globally, with criminals able to find

ways for their money to permeate the

financial system.

Anti-Money Laundering Regulations

(AML), first introduced in April 1994

under the European Money Laundering

Directive (part of the Criminal Justice Act

1993), apply to all those who operate in the

financial services sector. Since first being

introduced, there have been a number of

updates to the AML framework brought

in by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the

2007 Money Laundering Regulations and

the 2017 Money Laundering Regulations.

AML compliance extends to terrorist

financing, which is facilitated through

money laundering, and many of you

will be aware of the enhanced AML

responsibilities placed on financial

institutions that are regulated by the

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), for

example banks and building societies.

FUNDING CRIME

Money laundering is a key facilitator

of serious and organised crime. This

area of crime, according to the National

Crime Agency (NCA), has a cost to the

UK estimated at £24 billion a year and

threatens the country’s national security,

prosperity and global reputation. The

NCA also reports that money laundering

has an impact on the UK economy of over

£100 billion per year. This of course has

the knock-on effect of harming business

in the UK, with the potential for it to be

a precursor to insolvencies and losses to

creditors.

The fight against

money laundering is

one that helps to keep

the UK an attractive

place to do business

and therefore strongly

benefits us all.

With money laundering being such a

prevalent issue in society, the structure

for enforcing AML needs to be robust and

rigorous to minimise the damage that this

form of crime has the potential to unleash

and deter those who may look to the UK’s

financial system to launder their money.

The 2007 Money Laundering

Regulations introduced the concept of

the Professional Body Supervisor (PBS).

These organisations, of which there are

22 in total, are responsible for supervising

their members’ compliance with AML

regulations. The Insolvency Practitioners

Association (IPA) is a listed PBS and

therefore has a duty to monitor and

review its members’ AML compliance in

carrying out their work.

Work performed by insolvency

practitioners (IPs) intrinsically has a high

risk of exposure to money laundering.

This is chiefly because the work involves

receiving, holding and distributing money

and other assets, which are distributed to

individuals previously unknown to the IP.

Additionally, the circumstances around

an insolvency may be unfamiliar to the IP;

they may be faced with limited resources

(such as books and records); and they may

come into contact with individuals and

assets in non-UK jurisdictions.

In order to keep creditors in as safe

a position as possible, it’s essential that

money laundering is identified early on in

an insolvency case, and we at the IPA have

implemented new regulatory practices so

that our IP members can carry out their

roles with ever-present vigilance against

money laundering. Earlier this year, we

published our formal AML strategy. A key

feature of our strategy is a whistleblowing

process – an important feature of any AML

regime. As is set out in paragraph four of

Statement of Insolvency Practice (SIP)

1, states it is compulsory for members

to make disclosures to the IPA as part

of their membership requirements

which encompasses any AML concerns.

Intelligence and information sharing are

also an important aspect of fighting money

laundering, and we take part in forums that

allow us to share information with other

PBS or law enforcement agencies.

Recently, the IPA introduced a new

risk-based monitoring system for its IP

members with AML compliance built in.

This regime allows us to be efficient but

effective in carrying out our duties, giving

more attention to those IPs who are deemed

to be at a higher risk of exposure to money

laundering.

Looking ahead, we are planning

webinars as an AML educational resource

for our members. The fight against money

laundering is one that helps to keep the

UK an attractive place to do business and

therefore strongly benefits us all. At the IPA,

our AML responsibilities are equal to our

duty of insolvency regulation. I am pleased

that we were recently able to publish

our formal strategy for dealing with our

responsibilities. A key part of how we work

is to recognise that regulation requires

continual adaptation and improvement to

match the evolving business landscape. In

the same vein, we are mindful that AML

compliance may well have to evolve in the

future as criminals employ new tactics to

disguise illicit money, and we therefore

remain open to future change in AML

compliance.

For more information, you can view the

IPA’s AML strategy via the AML section of

our website at insolvency-practitioners.org.

uk/regulation-and-guidance/anti-moneylaundering-regulation.

Michelle Thorp is CEO, Insolvency

Practitioners Association.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 11


FROM THE CHAIR

Proud achievements

Pete Whitmore FCICM looks back over the

events of the year.

Pete Whitmore FCICM

JOE Cocker once belted out the lyric

‘who knows what tomorrow brings,’

which ultimately led to a particularly

uplifting finale. As I try to look into

the crystal ball of the future, I hope

we can wish for an equally fulfilling

outcome in 2020.

While I do not wish to dwell on the subject

of Brexit, you cannot look back over the course

of this year without seeing the uncertain

impact that this topic has brought to virtually

every area of our lives. The endless stop/start,

deal/no deal scenarios have played havoc with

us all personally and at a business level too. I

have seen companies overstock to compensate

against an unknown outcome and then try

to second guess what else may happen or be

needed.

The CICM has produced a ‘Managing cash

through Brexit’ guide and an ‘Are you ready for

Brexit’ checklist; both of which are available

for download from the Institute website cicm.

com. There has also been an increase in

corporate insolvencies this year culminating in

the Thomas Cook debacle, which transcended

personal and professional boundaries with

many companies and individuals adversely

affected. One thing that I think we can all hope

for is that the current situation is finally put

behind us and we can all get back to focusing

on other things next year.

HUMAN ENDEAVOUR

I am a great believer in the power of the human

spirit to overcome all and we have witnessed

some awe-inspiring moments in 2019. The

achievement of Eliud Kipchoge in completing

a marathon in less than two hours really

proved that #NoHumanIsLimited and was

quickly followed by Brigid Kosgei breaking the

women’s marathon world record in Chicago.

The Kipchoge moment will become one of

those few special times when people will ask

you where you were when it happened. A true

achievement for all humanity and a giant leap

for mankind.

Similarly, the youth of today has also

provided moments of real inspiration

including the likes of Greta Thunberg, whose

words of wisdom and challenging questions

reveal real insight and promise that the

future may be in safe hands. While these

achievements take place on a global scale, it is

the everyday acts of kindness from individuals

and professionals sharing best practice that

provide the most hope. At CICM we actively

encourage the sharing of best practice and

our CICMQ accreditation programme allows

companies the opportunity to display the

badge of honour for attaining the best in class

standard.

I fear that we will continue to see more

corporate failures throughout 2020 and it

will become even more important to have

close relationships with our customers as

we face the ever-increasing challenge of

maintaining collections and managing risk.

It will be interesting to see how cross border

transactions and recovery evolve as we go

forward. Similarly, what type of challenges will

be faced by trade credit insurers in securing

the data to provide ongoing coverage.

One constant that will prevail is that the

CICM will be providing support and guidance

to all our members and their organisations.

2019 has been a good year for CICM as we

have strengthened our senior leadership

team allowing us to provide a greater variety

and depth of services to meet the needs of

our members and corporate partners. The

British Credit Awards was a most notable

success bringing together credit professionals

across the industry for a night of recognising

and celebrating excellence. I hope you will

join us for next year’s awards on Wednesday

5 February 2020; ticket details are on the

website.

Next year will see the end of my tenure

as Chair of our wonderful Institute; I hope

that I have in some small way contributed

to the continued success during my time. It

never escapes me how lucky am I to have

such an excellent team back at CICM Head

Office making it easy for me. The drive and

professionalism of our Chief Executive,

Philip King FCICM has placed the Institute

firmly in the public eye and right at the heart

of government for comment and advice

(although it is not always taken on board).

I think Dolly Parton said it best...don’t ever

forget ‘the magic is inside you, there ain’t no

crystal ball.’

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 12


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OPINION

MODEL

NUMBERS

Existing funding models for the

Financial Ombudsman are not as

flawed as they are painted.

AUTHOR – Peter Wallwork MCICM

THE Financial Ombudsman

Service (FOS) recently

launched a consultation

on future funding that

pre-supposes the current

funding model is flawed

and isn’t working. In our opinion, however,

the current model – where firms that

generate the larger number of complaints

account for a commensurately higher

proportion of the funding – is not only fair

but also consistent with the funding principles

that FOS has adopted.

The consultation argues, not

unreasonably, that the current system is

to a degree risk-based. That is partly true.

Credit Services Association members

are notionally included in the consumer

credit grouping but while complaints

within the consumer credit space have

risen overall, this is not the case for

the majority of our members. The lack

of granularity in the existing system,

however, can result in perverse outcomes,

with ‘non-polluters’ (as they are called)

paying a disproportionate amount for

a service their customers seldom have

cause to use.

ATTRACTIVE PROPOSITION

We understand why FOS is seeking a

more financially ‘convenient’ funding

mechanism, but this ‘convenience’ must

be aligned with scrupulous fairness to

those expected to foot the bill. Through the

arguments being advanced, we perceive

no valid basis for the proposed changes

being made. Indeed, we would go further,

and say that the changes being suggested

are entirely at odds with the funding

principles espoused by the Service.

Disregarding PPI or something similar

in the future, we would expect use of the

Service to decline over time. A smaller

service would necessarily have a muchreduced

cost. However, complaint

volumes are inherently difficult to predict

as they can be driven by a far wider range

of factors than simply poor practice.

Other factors might include ill-informed

media or social comment that can mislead

consumers into believing that there are

grounds for complaint when there are

none. Paradoxically, this in turn can lead

to an escalation in further complaints

when a consumer does not receive redress

to which they believe, often incorrectly,

they are entitled!

Media, both traditional and social, can

galvanise consumers to raise legitimate

concerns. But they can also be used

to generate complaints that are both

vexatious and mischievous, and to this

end even the existing model can already

be unfair for those member firms that

find themselves unwitting victims of such

complaints.

LEVY AND FEE

The specific proposal that the levy and

case fee income should be rebalanced

to be a 50:50 split is especially troubling.

To describe it as ‘rebalancing’ is, in our

view, grossly misleading. What is in fact

being proposed is a transfer of risk to our

members that is wholly unacceptable.

Those that generate the highest levels

of complaints – the ‘polluters’ – should

be those that fund the lion’s share of the

service provided. The only way in which

this could change is if FOS dramatically

refines the way that future complaint

volumes and costs are allocated, and

this requires significantly more data and

analysis than is currently available. And

given that FOS has ruled out a move to a

more granular level of risk-analysis, we

cannot see that it is remotely possible

for the proposal to achieve an outcome

aligned with the principles, or indeed

which is fair at a more fundamental level.

Many of our larger members have a

relatively light footprint when it comes

to complaints referred to FOS, but in the

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 14


OPINION

AUTHOR – Peter Wallwork MCICM

We understand why

FOS is seeking a more

financially ‘convenient’

funding mechanism,

but this ‘convenience’

must be aligned with

scrupulous fairness to

those expected to foot

the bill.

new proposals they could find themselves

penalised heavily and paying more

than three times the amounts they are

contributing currently. They would have

to absorb extraordinary costs that are

nigh-on impossible to justify.

FOS advances a number of arguments

as regards why its funding model should

change. It points, for example, to the

increasing complexity of what it does and

the industry it serves, but this should have

been accounted

for in its original

thinking, and some

of this complexity

is as a result of

its own actions. It

points to the work

it does that cannot

be charged for, but

this again holds

little water for there

is little, if anything,

that FOS does that

is not in some

way ‘chargeable’ –

whether directly

through case fees or

in consequence of the existing levy.

While there will inevitably be a risk

that FOS will need to seek additional

funding intra-year due to the number

of complaints escalating far beyond

expectation, it is difficult to see this as a

persuasive argument. As the consultation

states, FOS has been fully operational

since 2001 and it has had responsibility

for most of its current remit for many

of those years, so the risk of being

sufficiently ‘surprised’ in those areas to

merit additional intra-year funding is

small.

Rather than supporting the proposal

for change, we believe these arguments

actually undermine FOS’ case.

Furthermore, the arguments to which they

relate become less credible still having

regard to the scale of the reserve held by

the service which should be more than

sufficient to deal with any ‘unexpected’

spike in complaints. We are not, for the

avoidance of doubt, suggesting that firms

should not collectively contribute to the

running of FOS. We are, however, stating

firmly that increasing that contribution

beyond the current 15 percent level does

not appear to have any justification.

FREE REVIEWS

Another point with which we fundamentally

disagree is the proposal to reduce the

number of ‘free’ case reviews available.

This proposal will necessarily have

a negative effect on firms which are

currently above the proposed 10 free

Those that generate

the highest levels

of complaints – the

‘polluters’ – should be

those that fund the lion’s

share of the service

provided.

cases but below the current 25. Firms

in this position will experience a rise

of between £550 and £8,250 annually

depending on the number of complaints

generated. As with the wider proposal in

relation to the levy, it is unclear why this

is necessary without more detailed and

granular information as to costs incurred.

There is, of course, a wider concern

that the case fee is currently set at a

level that is higher than necessary. For

example, a member of staff with a gross

income of £46,800 would have to work

for some 22 hours solidly for their hourly

rate to equate to £550 worth of work.

It is acknowledged that there will be

some reductions to accommodate wider

overhead, but for even the most complex

of complaints this seems somewhat

high. The free cases are arguably already

subsidised to a degree, so reducing the

level of non-chargeable complaints would

be a concern.

More fundamentally, it seems

premature to be proposing such a change

at a time when the Service use will

dramatically change, and the size of the

organisation will correspondingly reduce

significantly. Based on the information

provided in the consultation, it would

seem far more appropriate to maintain

the current approach and then revisit the

issue of a future funding structure after

the 2020/2021 complaint volumes and the

start of the Service reductions are better

understood. At present, we see little

justification for these proposals beyond

increasing fixed revenue generation to

reduce Service provision income. This

may be preferable to FOS in funding

future operations, but it will shift cost

from polluters to levy payers without any

rational justification.

Peter Wallwork is CEO of the Credit

Services Association and a member of

the Board of the Money Advice Liaison

Group (MALG).

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 15


INTERVIEW

COVER

LINES

Has the credit insurance industry

recovered from a poor showing following

the economic collapse a decade ago?

SEAN Feast FCICM puts the

questions to Stuart Ramsden,

Head of Commercial for UK and

Ireland at Atradius.

SF: What is the biggest

challenge facing the credit insurance sector

today?

SR: Although Trade Credit Insurance has

been supporting trade in the UK for a century

(ECGD began in the UK in 1919) one of

the key challenges for the industry is still

the lack of awareness and the level of understanding

about the full range of benefits

available from the products and services provided.

While industry statistics report nearly

13,000 policies are in force with Association

of British Insurers (ABI) members in the UK,

covering £340 billion of trade, there are also

a significant number of businesses trading

entirely without protection.

When you look at other insurance sectors,

legalities aside, there are few individuals who

would dismiss the need for insurance for a

home, a holiday or a car; the risk exposure

is simply too great. However, too many

businesses do not look at their bottom line

in the same way and are leaving themselves

exposed to the risk of non-payment by

minimising the value of trade credit

insurance.

With uncertainty dominating the economy

and insolvency rates rising, credit insurance

in today’s climate should be an essential for

any business. Within the industry, we are

confident in our proposition and the part

we play in facilitating trade and we must

collectively do more to raise awareness of

credit insurance, its benefits and the part it

plays in supporting business growth.

SF: Is the market growing and if so in

what areas?

SR: With a rocky insolvency climate and

predictions of increasing business failure

rates, demand for trade credit insurance is

rising. While there is always more we can

do to raise awareness, the developments in

digital access and tailored products designed

for specific segments and business areas

are changing the way businesses think

about credit insurance. Often seen in the

past as ‘too complicated’ or ‘too expensive’

for smaller businesses, credit insurance is

now accessible to every segment and that is

enabling growth.

We have seen an increase in claims across

the industry, which reflects the current

business environment. The ABI reports the

number of insurance claims made in the

first quarter of this year reached a 10-year

high with 5,114 new claims to the tune of

£48 million. In these circumstances, we

do anticipate a rise in new enquiries as

businesses take a more cautious approach

to risk and avoid becoming a casualty of the

next insolvency.

SF: How important are SMEs?

SR: By the end of 2018, there were almost

six million private businesses in the UK; this

is over 60 percent higher than for the same

period in 2000. SMEs account for over 40

percent of all UK businesses at this time. So,

if SMEs exert this amount of influence and

impact on trade, then of course they are also

exposed to varying business risks, including

the risk of non-payment. This is why we

firmly believe that trade credit insurance is

an essential tool for the SME segment.

SF: What are you doing to address their

specific needs?

SR: We have developed Modula Freedom,

a product specifically designed to meet the

needs of SMEs. SMEs often just want to get on

and run their businesses and have ‘access to

finance’ when they need it rather than spend

ages going through prolonged applications

and administration. Consequently, for a

company with a turnover of say £3 million,

the process of applying for a typical whole

turnover policy, with all the necessary

declarations and vetting procedures, is timeconsuming

for them and their broker. The

process for Modula Freedom is very simple

and consists of one application form. There

is also a simple purchase process that quickly

provides the customer with access to our

online portal 24/7. Modula Freedom’s specific

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 16


The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 17

Raising awareness about the

importance of good credit

management practice and

the benefits of trade credit

insurance is something that is

always on the agenda.


INTERVIEW

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

features include first orders cover giving

customers more flexibility and opportunities

to grow their sales with the protection of

Atradius. Customers can also choose the level

of maximum liability required from several

options.

SF: What other new products/

innovations have you recently

launched?

SR: The industry is constantly evolving

and as the way trade transactions

take place changes, so we too, continue

to adapt to a more digital world.

Atradius Atrium is our digital platform that

enables our customers (and brokers) to communicate

with us on every aspect of their

policy through one single login – and as you

would expect it is available not just ‘on the

go’ but 24/7. But as important as it is to have

a digital capability there is still a real value in

human interaction and we take pride in not

just our customer service proposition, but the

strong relationships that we build with customers,

brokers and industry in general. For

example, our Risk Underwriting approach revolves

around knowing the market and trade

sector and our Underwriters work closely with

businesses to ensure that the business information

that decisions are based on is current,

and relevant at all times.

SF: Have the lessons of the past been

learned?

SR: The severity and ferocity of the financial

crisis of 2008/9 and the sheer number of

firms falling victim to insolvency during that

period make it stand out as an extreme event

in history – there were lessons to be learned

for everyone. The world has changed in the 10

years since the crash and more sophisticated

financial management strategies alongside

fiscal regulation now create a very different

environment.

The approach to buyer risk underwriting

has also seen changes. Accurate and up-todate

information is critical as the crisis proved

it was no longer enough to rely on annual

reports or aged accounts. Understanding

the strategic direction of a business as well

as analysing their financial strength is

critical. Our underwriters have built up close

relationships with most key players within the

industry, enabling informed insight into trends

and developments and individual payment

behaviour. We always advise businesses to be

open and transparent with us. We operate an

open-door policy and are proactive in seeking

information to enable us to make informed

credit decisions in support of our customers.

Early warning of a deteriorating risk and

loss mitigation action is essential to protect

against the loss to a customer’s income. It is

important to understand that insurance protects

the majority percentage of monies owed,

but it is industry standard practice for the insured

to carry an uninsured percentage (usually

10 percent) of the debt. One of the reasons

why customers insure in the first place is to

ensure that they trade with businesses that

are strong enough to support credit terms.

If their potential customer is a poor risk,

they want to know that upfront so that they

can make informed decisions. When a risk

deteriorates it is important for all stakeholders

to be aware of what is happening, and

when the risk of non-payment increases significantly

it is appropriate to review the cover

arrangements with our customers – being

alerted to a probable default is a warning that

any supplier would want to receive.

SF: What more could credit insurers

do to educate businesses/credit

managers?

SR: Raising awareness about the importance

of good credit management practice and the

benefits of trade credit insurance is something

that is always on the agenda. The ABI has

done a great deal to help create awareness

and has also supported the key providers

in an initiative to work together from a PR

perspective.

We constantly seek out opportunities to

talk about trade credit insurance and share

our expertise with businesses whether

through publications, events, networking,

speaker opportunities as well as media

segments and of course social channels. In

an uncertain economic environment, there is

a prime opportunity for insurers and brokers

to work collaboratively to demonstrate the

value of trade credit insurance to businesses

both in terms of its ability to protect from

non-payment and through its role as a trade

partner in developing robust trade strategies

to seek out new opportunities and mitigate

risk.

Business growth and trade credit insurance

are intrinsically interlinked and, as the

insurer, we need to be involved well ahead

of a contract or new trade relationship being

agreed. It is also important to remember that

education is not one-way. As insurers we are

also learning all the time – listening is key!

We have strong relationships with all of our

stakeholders, which helps us to stay ahead of

the curve in an ever-changing marketplace.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 18


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www.ddisoftware.co.uk

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 19

sales@ddisoftware.co.uk


ADVERTORIAL

Lovetts attends FSB roundtable

hosted by National Chairman

DEBT collection and recovery

specialist law

firm, Lovetts Solicitors,

recently joined a Federation

of Small Businesses

(FSB) roundtable hosted

by National Chairman, Mike Cherry OBE

and attended by, among others, Managing

Director for UK Connect, Pj Farr.

In addition to supporting the Prompt

Payment Code over many years, Lovetts

has previously collaborated with the

Federation of Small Businesses to promote

the importance of prompt invoice

payment for SMEs and offered advice on

how small businesses can optimise their

credit management procedures. The

recent event provided an opportunity to

update the group on best practices within

the wider context of how the FSB can

successfully support small businesses

going forward.

Despite advancements in late payment

law and credit management software,

many UK entities remain reluctant to

chase both domestic and international

debts, fearing a long, drawn-out

procedure.

However, Lovetts research shows that

the firm’s Letter Before Action (LBA) is

successful within 86 percent of UK cases.

It also has a No Win, No Fee service in

place internationally, so the process of

chasing overseas debts is now also risk

free.

“We work with companies of all sizes

and sectors, from FTSE 100 organisations

down to independent businesses with less

than 10 employees.” says Charles Wilson

FCICM, Chairman of Lovetts. “Despite

progress in recent years in legislation

and the debt recovery sector, and the

relentless mission of organisations such

as CICM and FSB, we still find that not

all businesses are clear about the debt

recovery process. It’s a shame. Educating

themselves on the current regulations

and best practice processes is particularly

important for smaller businesses, where

cashflow is their operational lifeblood. As

always, we were delighted to sit down with

the FSB and provide input in this area.”

Lovetts’ CaseManager software is a free

tool that provides clients with a complete

solution to manage the legal aspects

of their collections online. It’s just one

initiative that the firm has implemented

to help make the credit management

and debt recovery processes more

transparent, hassle-free, and more direct

for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

“We work with

companies of all sizes

and sectors, from FTSE

100 organisations down to

independent businesses

with less than 10

employees.”

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 20


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The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 21

WE ARE RATED 9OUT OF 10


OPINION

CRASH LANDING

The demise of the nation’s oldest and largest travel

agent will have significant ramifications.

AUTHOR – Tim Vine

IT feels as though hardly a week

goes by without a leading High

Street name hitting the headlines

with reports of financial

difficulty or declining sales. The

recent collapse of Thomas Cook

led to the largest peacetime repatriation

of British citizens and has once again put

a spotlight on the ‘turbulent’ environment

and the uncertainty facing businesses.

As credit professionals, we know that

the demise of a supplier or customer can

have a significant ‘knock-on’ impact on

operations and finances. We often rely

on other organisations for materials and

resources, or if they are a large customer,

the income they provide can be critical

to cashflow. It is a constant challenge

to monitor the financial health and

creditworthiness of the organisations we

work with to identify and manage both

potential risks and potential opportunities.

100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

Failure Score = 99

Failure Score = 85 Failure Score = 80

Failure Score = 5

December 2018

April 2019 May 2019

Dun & Bradstreet Failure Score for Thomas Cook PLC over the past 12 months

Thomas Cook PLC

FLIGHT PATH TO FAILURE

Like Dun & Bradstreet, the Thomas Cook

business was first established 178 years

ago in 1841 and was the world’s oldest

travel company. Formed by businessman

Thomas Cook in Market Harborough, the

company went from being a privatelyowned

travel agency to a multi-millionpound

FTSE 100 business with annual

sales of £9 billion, employing over 20,000

people across 16 countries.

Thomas Cook merged with My Travel

and took over the Airtours brand in 2007,

bought Hotels4U.com in 2008 and entered

into a joint venture with Co-operative

Travel in 2011 that ended with Thomas

Cook buying out the Co-operative Group in

2016. Although these transactions secured

market share and a leading competitive

position, they also increased the company’s

debt to hundreds of millions.

The impact of the Icelandic volcano

disruption to the travel industry in 2011

compounded the debt issues and led to

some of the first speculation about the

future of the brand with several profit

warnings issued. However, an injection of

financial support and a bullish executive

team averted the worst and the subsequent

recovery led to share price increases and a

£23 million profit reported in 2015.

However, the company’s troubles were

not over. Preliminary financial information

shared by Thomas Cook at the end of

2018 was what turned out to be the final

‘death knoll’ for the brand. The company

issued a profit warning in May 2019 and

interim results confirmed a £1.5 billion

half-year loss, with analysts warning of

a significantly weak outlook. And on 23

September 2019, following widespread

media reports and warnings, the company

entered compulsory liquidation.

KNOCK-ON EFFECT

Although in the case of Thomas Cook

there aren’t a huge number of suppliers

impacted by the collapse given the nature

of the industry, the liquidation has had

significant ramifications for many.

Holidaymakers were stranded in

locations around the world with thousands

more having to rearrange future

bookings made with the travel operator,

with reports of alternative flights and

holidays going up in price in response

to demand. The ‘Operation Matterhorn’

repatriation effort to bring over 150,000

people back to the UK is expected to have

cost the Government in the region of

£100 million, with some people stranded

for up to two weeks. The refund scheme

set up has also experienced issues with

fraudulent claims.

Additional estimates suggest a further

£60 million will be spent on payments

via the Insolvency Service Redundancy

Payment Service for the 9,000 Thomas

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 22


OPINION

AUTHOR – Tim Vine

Cook employees who lost their jobs. Amid

the chaos, many of the staff were praised for

continuing to support their former customers

during the repatriation.

Thomas Cook’s former directors are also

facing questions about the way they ran the

company as part of a government inquiry into

the business’ collapse. The Business, Energy and

Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee will

look at evidence including executive salaries,

debt management and governance processes,

and then the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)

will investigate previous audit results.

WARNING SIGNS

So is it possible to predict a business’ demise?

Nothing is ever 100 percent certain, but

visibility of the financial health of suppliers

and customers can be key to reducing bad debt

and identifying opportunity. Using predictive

analysis, such as the likelihood that a business

will still be trading in the next 12 months,

can help to objectively assess the level of risk

exposure and provide early warning signs to

minimise the impact of a business failure on

the supply chain or customer base. Monitoring

this information can help to spot any potential

‘red flags’. This type of predictive scoring is

based on statistical probability and can be

used as a tool to support decision-making as

part of a balanced risk management process.

Scorecards take into account events that may

signal the onset of failure, such as a meeting of

creditors, the appointment of an administrator

or receiver, a petition lodged for winding-up or

a bankruptcy filing. Financial data including

liquidity, rations, profitability, payment

performance and solvency can also be analysed

as well as demographic information such as

business age, location and industry type.

in the period April to June 2019. The figure

was up marginally from Q1 but year-on-year

liquidations were down 0.8 percent year-onyear

overall. Although, the story does vary

between sectors with the construction industry

showing an increase of over four percent.

Reports of worsening financial performance

at several high street names have been in the

headlines since the Thomas Cook collapse and

the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit, trade

wars and slowing global growth is seemingly

taking its toll.

However, it’s important to remember that

although the current economic outlook is still

sluggish, longer term the economic potential

for the UK is still positive. As yet, we’ve not

had two consecutive quarters of contraction

(economic definition of a recession) but Q3

results for July to September will be monitored

closely.

Holidaymakers were stranded

in locations around the world

with thousands more having to

rearrange future bookings made

with the travel operator.

Tim Vine is Head of European

Trade Credit, Dun & Bradstreet.

MORE TO COME?

Dun & Bradstreet’s Q2 UK Industry report

recorded over 4,000 corporate liquidations

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 23


TOWN AND COUNTRY

THE

INTELLIGENCE

SERVICE

Sean Feast takes time out to speak

to Graydon’s Simon Blackwell about

commercial fraud, access to VAT data,

and a fondness for Croydon.

IT’S 09:45 when the Met Line train

pulls into Harrow-on-the-Hill, just a

few stops up from my starting point

at Chorleywood. It’s one of my shorter

expeditions for a Town and Country

feature to visit Graydon, the business

information provider.

Graydon has been through a number

of changes in recent years, not least in its

ownership, and I’m interested to see what

Managing Director Simon Blackwell has to

say. I am even more interested when I discover

that he is a former Sales Director within the

Flight Global Group, and it transpires we know

several similar people outside of the world of

credit! We also share an interest and knowledge

of Croydon, his original birthplace:

“When I was at University in Sheffield and

said I came from Croydon, everyone seemed

to think it was a terrible place but that was at

odds with my own experience. I am still very

fond of Croydon and with family still there

and as a lifelong supporter of Crystal Palace I

regularly go back.”

Simon is also no stranger to Graydon. He

was there between 2004 and 2007 in a senior

sales capacity under the late and still greatly

missed Martin Williams, a good friend to the

CICM and many of us personally. When the

opportunity to return to Graydon as Managing

Director presented itself in 2017, Simon took

little persuading: “It is a sector I know well and

a company I enjoyed working for previously,”

he said. “But the real attraction was in the

challenge, and the chance to broaden my

experience in senior management.”

In Simon’s first term, Graydon was owned

partly by the three credit insurers, Atradius,

Euler Hermes and Coface. Today it is wholly

owned by Atradius (Atradius completed the

acquisition in September 2016), but operates

very much as its own autonomous (€45

million) group with offices in the UK, Belgium

and Holland. “While we are the leader in the

latter two countries, it is not the case in the

UK and the challenge has been in evolving our

business to give us a clear point of difference.”

COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY

In many ways the business intelligence

industry has become commoditised. All of

the major providers have their own range

of products, making the industry especially

competitive. Price is often a key driver,

especially at the ‘lower’ end (my words not

Simon’s) where the need is for simple data,

insights and a rating on which to make a

typically quick (and usually comparatively

low risk) decision. For major new business

opportunities, and to serve the need of the

professional credit manager, much more is

required from their business information

provider. This is where Graydon has been

focusing much of its recent investment,

although Simon is quick to point out that he

has all ends covered:

“Graydon Insights is our portal, and we

have recently upgraded the platform across

the group to make it even more reliable and

easy to use to help drive faster decisions,” he

says.

But it would not be unfair or speaking out

of turn (I hope!) to say that this isn’t the area

that most floats Simon’s boat (a fitting phrase

given he long since abandoned Croydon for

Henley-on-Thames). He becomes much more

excited when he talks about Graydon’s new

fraud prevention solution, Business Risk.

“Commercial fraud is a massive issue,

costing businesses some £190 billion a year

and continues to be on the rise,” he explains.

“With our experience of certain sectors – such

as IT resellers and petroleum businesses –

where fraud is prevalent, we have developed

‘XSeption’ solution – effectively the ability to

identify unusual/abnormal behaviours – and

flag them as potentially fraudulent. Now we

are going a step further.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 24


TOWN AND COUNTRY

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

“We recognise there is a correlation between a fraudulent

individual and a fraudulent business, especially when the

fraudulent individual is in charge. Our new service (which

we will formally announce shortly), will bring those two

sources of data together, and will be genuinely unique in the

marketplace.”

ONBOARDING PROCESS

Graydon is also innovating in other areas, notably the process

that all credit managers have to go through when onboarding a

new customer or supplier, and where speed is often essential.

“Everyone knows how difficult and time-consuming the

onboarding process can be, and how it is often fragmented

with compliance teams focusing on the KYC/AML checks

working in isolation of those checking a company’s creditworthiness.

These silos can be a great barrier to speed and

are often frustrating. It can take anything between two to

five days to onboard a piece of business. So imagine if you

could do it not in days but in minutes, giving you a distinct

advantage over your competitors? What if you could set up

‘journeys’ and a single, streamlined process for all of those

disparate functions, and where the solution was completely

data agnostic, allowing you to pull data from the sources that

best suit your business need?

“Thanks to a new technology partnership with

‘TruNarrative’ that’s exactly what we’ve done, and we believe

it will be transformational, especially for those higher end,

higher-volume businesses.”

Simon says that the industry is not without its wider

challenges. He is very aware of the current debate regarding

Companies House and the veracity of the data it holds, but

takes a pragmatic view: ‘‘Currently Companies House does

not pretend to be anything but a registry and has never

pretended that it checks the authenticity of the accounts data

it holds, but similarly it seems odd that it can hold data that is

knowingly fraudulent. As a result, we do welcome the recent

consultation on Companies House reform and how it aims to

tackle fraud in a better way.

“The question for the future will still be where does the

work of Companies House end and the work of the business

information provider begin? We have always seen it as our role

to use the best technology, people and experience to add value

to the data we provide.”

DATA PRIVACY

He recognises there is also a challenge around data privacy:

“There appears to be a disconnect from Government,” he says.

“On the one hand we are actively encouraging the sharing and

transfer of data through Open Banking to assist better lending

decisions, but on the other we are protecting consumers’

information through GDPR. Given the increasingly blurred

lines between what constitutes a ‘consumer’ and what

constitutes a ‘business’, especially when it comes to nonlimited

companies and sole proprietors, this is also an issue

we will need to watch.”

Simon is interested in more recent developments, led

in part by the Business Information Providers Association

(BIPA), regarding potential access to VAT information from

the HMRC. As an ISO 27001-accredited business, Graydon is

entitled to apply for VAT data and Simon is looking forward

to the insights that such data will reveal: “We welcome

the government offering up further data sources to credit

reference agencies to enable better B2B decision making for

credit, KYC and fraud purposes.”

“Graydon Insights

is our portal, and

we have recently

upgraded the

platform across the

group to make it

even more reliable

and easy to use to

help drive faster

decisions”

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 25


OPINION

HOUSE CALL

The UK is awash with dirty money and

some of the fault rests with Companies

House.

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM and Alex Simmons

THE latest official figures reveal

that £90 billion is laundered in

crime proceeds through the UK

each year with the Government

estimating that financial fraud

alone costs the UK economy £6.8

billion per year.

According to Transparency International,

766 companies registered in the UK have been

directly involved in laundering stolen money

from at least 13 countries. And a YouGov poll

commissioned by campaign group Robust,

shows business leaders have serious concerns

over the damage that money laundering is

doing to the UK’s reputation.

The poll of business decision makers in

the UK’s SMEs identified that more than three

quarters (76 percent) of those surveyed believe

money laundering is having a damaging effect

on the UK’s business reputation, with 34

percent responding that it is ‘very damaging.’

“The UK is awash with dirty money and

much of it flows through shell companies

set up for just £12 through the limp and illequipped

system at Companies House,” says

Richard Osborne, Managing Director of BD

Group and Founder of Robust. “This YouGov

survey suggests that those in business believe

it is harming the UK’s reputation as a place to

do business.”

Robust is calling for greater defences

against money laundering, and advocates

enhanced due diligence checks at Companies

House, bringing the UK’s public registrar

under current EU legislation.

TOUGHER DEFENCES

Business leaders polled said they would

back a range of measures to toughen up any

such defences advocated: 84 percent would

pay an additional fee (around £2) for more

robust checking procedures by Companies

House; 67 percent want tougher penalties

for those behind shell companies; 64 percent

believe more robust checking procedures

at Companies House would reduce money

laundering in the UK.

“These findings show that businesses are

concerned that money laundering is damaging

the UK’s reputation, and they clearly want

to see meaningful action,” Richard adds.

“The Government must be prepared to take

concerted action to stop the flow of ‘dirty

money’ through businesses incorporated at

Companies House and listen to the voices of UK

business leaders. The evidence coming from

industry is increasingly overwhelming and it

is incumbent on Government to stop turning

a blind eye to nefarious practices on its own

doorstep.”

Richard is not alone in his view. Mike Padmore

Technical Director at CoCredo says although

the data at Companies House is generally very

good, there is little validation of the data filed

and with the introduction of micro-entities, the

depth of data available will reduce, which will

potentially impact a company’s access to credit:

“The lack of validation by Companies House

has two problematic outcomes,” he explains.

“Firstly, it allows for erroneous data to be

submitted, for example accounts that don’t

balance, but secondly and more worryingly

it opens the door to fraudulent reporting.

Companies House is exempt from the Anti

Money Laundering Directive and doesn’t carry

out background checks currently. This then

causes an erosion of trust in the data available.

“It also means that ourselves and our partners

have to spend more time and resources on

validating data where we are able to, before we

can pass this information on to our customers.

A positive step however is that Companies

House is highlighting this on its website.

“Companies House data has its pitfalls but by

supplementing this information with additional

data sources and ongoing monitoring, it can

be used effectively to help minimise risk and

maximise opportunity.”

CENTRAL REGISTRY

Paul Beard, Commercial Director at Creditsafe,

has a number of concerns. He says that

Creditsafe operations in the UK and the data

required to power them are built around

information filed at Companies House: “We

don’t take this for granted – Companies House

provides a comprehensive, central registry

which many of our international counterparts

aren’t lucky enough to have.

The Registered Company Number has long

been held as the starting point for any business

information database, allowing recipients of the

Companies House data to accurately match the

additional data sets required to produce viable

products and services. Without this unique

reference point, self-sourced data sets such as

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 26


OPINION

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM and Alex Simmons

trade payment performance indicators

cannot be effectively deployed.”

Although the benchmark for registries

globally, Paul admits that Companies

House data is not without its flaws: “Lack

of verification is still a major concern,

as we have often seen highlighted in

the media. No data, be it commercial,

consumer or otherwise would fail be

improved by better verification and

Companies House data is no exception.

Companies House is fully aware of the

need for improvement and is working

towards more comprehensive checks.

“The availability of additional data

sets such as Persons of Significant

Control (PSC) are most welcome, but the

industry still struggles with the challenge

of obtaining accurate data relating to

unincorporated businesses. This issue

is not unique to the UK and the release

of additional data sets such as the VAT

register have gone some way to improving

data quality relating to unincorporated

businesses.”

Paul says, however, that if the UK

Government was to give Companies House

an extended remit over unincorporated

businesses, the landscape would improve

immeasurably: “Greater detail would

ensure better decisions being made by

providers of finance and trade credit,

along with more viable data being

included in anti-money laundering

solutions. I appreciate this would be a

huge undertaking and I am not entirely

sure how this would work in practice,

however the available data would just

go to cement the UK’s status as a world

leader in Registry Data.”

DECLINED TO COMMENT

Not everyone was quite so forthcoming

with their views. Some CRAs,

disappointingly, declined to express

an opinion or left it to a company

spokesperson.

An Experian spokesman, for example,

simply said that the information Experian

supplies to businesses is taken from

more than 40 sources, one of which

is Companies House, to give them the

most accurate view of an organisation’s

creditworthiness: “We provide a range of

services which help businesses to verify

they are dealing with genuine customers

or clients,” he said.

BIPA – the trade association, said little

beyond what it has stated in the past:

a statement on its website says: ‘BIPA

strongly supports all proposals to improve

the quality of Companies House data,

including by introducing identity checks

and collecting more comprehensive data.

“The UK is awash

with dirty money

and much of it

flows through shell

companies set up for

just £12 through the

limp and ill-equipped

system at Companies

House.”

To maximise the impact of the reforms

on corporate transparency, we strongly

recommend that the proposals are

amended to give CRAs safe, limited access

to much of the additional data Companies

House will collect.’

Richard Osborne says it is important to

note that Companies House is not denying

the problems exist and is keen for reform:

“Companies House is a data business and

does not want to be just a registrar – it

is keen to have the power to validate the

information it holds,” he explains.

“It is the legislation that prevents it

from currently doing so and the decision

to change that can only be taken by BEIS.

One recommendation that is currently

being mooted is for 1.5 million records to

be checked and cross referenced which

would incur a huge cost and resource.

“The reality is finances are stretched

and the costs involved would be better

spent elsewhere. BD Group regularly

shares best practice knowledge with

Companies House to formulate a plan and

solution that could simplify the process;

one idea is to look at a technology that

is already in use by banks and other

financial institutions and to apply this to

other Government held data to provide a

more comprehensive report.”

SIMPLE SOLUTIONS

Jo Kettner, CEO of Company Watch agrees

that the solution should be far simpler:

“There are numerous different sources

of Government information that could

help combat this fraud. By allowing

access to non-financial elements of Real

Time Information – the way Government

administers the PAYE system, which

could enable more frequent verification

of a company’s legitimate operation, and

also allow the verification of employee

numbers to see if these correspond to the

size of business activity that is reported at

Companies House, for example.

“Combined with the current proposals

to introduce director ID verification

this would help enable both companies

and individuals to be more robustly

identified and start to close or at least

narrow the loopholes that are currently

being exploited. While this is beyond

its remit currently, Companies House

wants to engage and make the business

environment better by holding better

quality data and being more robust –

which is laudable.”

A response to the Public Consultation

is expected before the end of the year, but

it could be a further two to three years for

changes to the Companies Act to be passed

through Parliament and ratified into law.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 27


VIEW FROM THE SEA FRONT

A (new)winter of discontent

The number of people living in poverty levels in

Britain is at an all-time high.

AUTHOR – David Andrews

your lust for

the rich man’s gold,

all that you need is

in your soul, and you

‘‘FORGET

can do this, oh baby,

if you try. All that I

want for you, my son, is to be satisfied.’’

Simple Man. Lynyrd Skynard.

There is a street in Brighton, Sydney

Street (which for some reason always

brings to mind a chuckling Sid James)

where I like to sit – if it’s warm enough

– outside, sipping a latte and thinking

about…well, thinking about what comes

next.

And as I perched outside my favourite

café in my favourite Promised Land

street, I was in the middle of thinking

about what comes next, when the first of

many fly-pasts for money from shuffling

(or scurrying, depending on the level of

intoxication or ingestion) began.

I calculated that, while I had been sat

for barely five minutes, I was approached

at least five times. It may have been

six. Was this a record, I wondered?

Could be my pleasant, unassuming

demeanor, I thought. Or the fact that I

looked prosperous enough, deep in

thought in the late autumn sunshine, to be

worth a go.

As a rule, I rarely give money to those

who ask me in the street. It’s discouraged

in Brighton, where we have the second

biggest homeless population in the UK

after London. They just spend it on drink

and drugs, is the usual refrain. Could be,

but every one of those people who asked

me for money on a day when the last of

the summer warmth began to make way

for chillier autumn afternoons had at least

one thing in common. They had no money.

It’s down to personal choice, many

will say. Circumstance. Miserable, hellish

environmental backgrounds. Whatever. It

boils down to zero dinero.

GREATEST MINDS

Some of the greatest minds in civilisation

have also suffered debilitating anxiety

over a lack of funds. Think of Mozart, of

Chopin and Malcolm Lowry, of Nietzsche

and James Joyce and Shakespeare. They

all scraped by, more or less – although for

Wolfgang Amadeus the debtors’ prison

and abject penury were an uncomfortably

prevalent daily worry. The constant

knocking on the door. The looking

nervously over your shoulder.

Fast forward a few hundred years and

it’s looking like many of us in first world UK

are also deeply concerned about the wonga

– as my old editor of Credit Management

passim Richard Smith (RIP) used to say –

reserves. According to a story buried deep

in the Financial Times (September 2019),

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 28


VIEW FROM THE SEA FRONT

AUTHOR – David Andrews

one in three of those in work have wonga reserves

of just £500. The news piece was based on research

put together by an employee benefits’ organisation

called (unimaginatively) Salary Finance.

The company’s research (I use that term

guardedly) revealed that workers with financial

worries are more than four times more likely to be

suffering from anxiety and panic attacks, and 4.6

times more likely to be suffering from depression.

Inevitably, financial wellbeing has a significant

knock on effect on absenteeism, productivity and

staff retention. But one in three workers suffering?

It’s a big number.

While I am sceptical as to whether that £500

war chest in reserve for a third of working people

figure will stand forensic scrutiny, what is not in

dispute is the fact that we – currently at least –

have an employment rate of 76.1 percent. That’s

the joint-highest on record since comparable

records began, way back in 1971. Economists do

not yet know how the current Brexit mess will

impact on employment figures (lay-offs would

seem inevitable) – but as at June 2019 we had

32.81 million people aged 16 years and over in

employment. The recent collapse of Thomas Cook,

with all hands-on deck, will of course dent these

employment stats – around 9,000 workers have lost

their jobs in the wake of the consignment of this

once proud name to the High Street reject bin of

history.

And, sitting under the lengthening shadows of

the awning of Dave’s Comics in Sid James Street,

I ponder that, in sociological terms at least, street

beggars, homeless people and those unfortunate

I ponder that,

in sociological

terms at least,

street beggars,

homeless people

and those

unfortunate

enough to be at

the lowest strata

of society are

deemed to be

highly socially

invisible.

enough to be at the lowest strata of society are

deemed to be highly socially invisible. Which

seems to me an anthropological paradox. I mean,

they couldn’t be any more visible…could they?

DESPERATELY TROUBLING

The ever-deepening rift between the haves and

the have nots in our society is not just desperately

troubling, it is surely no longer tenable.

As the full extent of the salary and obscene

bonus raid on the Thomas Cook coffers by the

now defunct firm’s senior executives is rolled out

from the boardroom and into the public domain,

together with the shoddy and brutal way loyal

employees were left high and dry, it is staggering

that lessons from the past have not been learned.

Following the financial collapse in 2008, those

investment bankers – most of them, as it turned

out – who held onto their jobs, continued to enjoy

inflated incomes and perks, while Joe Working

Public was condemned to a decade of austerity.

Hundreds of thousands lost their jobs. Now, a

decade and more on, clearly, no lessons have

been learned. And we are witnessing yet another

prime example of wholesale collapse due for the

most part to successive corporate bungling and

mismanagement.

That recovery to a full employment economy

has come at great cost, month by painful month

– yet it now appears to be gravely imperilled. A

winter of discontent looms.

David Andrews is a published author and former

Personal Finance Editor of the Daily Express.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 29


ASK THE EXPERTS

NULL AND VOID

Are you doing enough to protect your business

against void dispositions?

AUTHOR – Bethan Evans

Bethan Evans

Arecent judgment suggests

that more businesses

could be at risk of experiencing

cashflow difficulties

if a key customer becomes

insolvent without

them knowing. So what action can they

take to avoid this happening?

The recent case of Dingley and others

vs Nisa Retail is a reminder that ‘good

faith’ alone is not enough to protect

suppliers against potentially having to

repay payments they have received from

their customers.

When a company is issued with a

winding-up petition, any disposition of

property made by the business after that

date is void. This includes cash paid to

its suppliers, which will have received

payments in good faith and without

knowledge of the petition. Regular contact

with customers, together with putting the

right credit controls in place, can help

suppliers to guard against this scenario

while protecting their cash position.

There is always a period of time

between a winding-up petition being

issued and its publication in The London

Gazette, a print and online journal which

publishes notices of insolvencies. On

the one hand this allows time for the

company to pay the petition debt and

protect its reputation. On the other,

suppliers continue to trade with them in

‘good faith’ unaware that they are facing

financial struggles.

The difficulties potentially arise as a

result of Section 127 of the Insolvency Act

1986, which says that any disposition of

the company’s property made by it after

a winding-up petition has been issued

is void. Where the petition is heard and

the company is wound up by the Court,

these payments may be recovered by a

liquidator in order to benefit the creditors

of the liquidated company as a whole.

This could have serious implications

for the supplier’s cashflow; in the worstcase

scenario, it may even trigger its own

failure.

GOOD FAITH

Previously, suppliers in this situation

have relied on a defence of ‘good faith’ to

persuade the Court to grant retrospective

validation orders to validate any void

transactions, therefore protecting their

cash position. However, the recent

judgement in Dingley and others vs

Nisa Retail reveals that this stance is not

always successful,

and businesses should

be mindful of and

take steps (where

appropriate) to reduce

their exposure to a key

customer becoming

insolvent.

In 2010, West Midlands-based

retailer

MKG Convenience

was incorporated and

began trading under

the Nisa franchise. As

well as holding £31,104

worth of shares in

Nisa, it paid a £25,000

cash deposit for the supply of stock, while

Nisa received direct debit payments for

the goods it supplied.

On 16 March 2015, MKG Convenience

was presented with a winding-up petition

(advertised on 7 April 2015) and liquidators

were appointed on 14 May 2015 following

a compulsory winding-up order.

Despite this, Nisa continued to receive

weekly direct debit payments from the

company until 20 May 2015.

In order to restore value for its

creditors, the liquidators of MKG

Convenience sought the repayment of

payments (totaling over £162,000).

Attempting to make use of a ‘good faith’

defence, Nisa applied for a validation

order on the basis that it was unknowingly

in receipt of void payments and had

‘‘It is vital that

businesses stay

alert to signs of

financial stress from

customers and take

proactive measures

to step up their credit

controls where

appropriate.’’

therefore continued to supply goods to

MKG Convenience. The Court found that

as the payments to Nisa did not benefit

the general body of creditors, the defence

was unsuccessful.

To avoid facing a similar scenario, and

having to repay funds believed to have

been rightly earned, suppliers should

ensure that they are ready to react to

any financial red flags that could signal

a customer is at risk of insolvency. For

example, increased number of CCJs,

previous winding-up petitions which

have since been dismissed or breakdowns

in communication may be signs that

a business is experiencing cashflow

challenges.

Putting in place policies and procedures

as part of tight credit controls can

also help suppliers to limit their exposure

to bad debt. This

might include introducing

more thorough

credit checks

and stricter credit

limits for potential

new customers. If

suppliers lack the

resources to chase

customer payments

internally, they may

also want to consider

outsourcing their

credit management

processes. This will

help to provide businesses

with greater

cash certainty by ensuring that customers

make payments on time.

It is vital that businesses stay

alert to signs of financial stress from

customers and take proactive measures

to step up their credit controls where

appropriate. By strengthening their credit

management processes and seeking

specialist insolvency advice at the earliest

opportunity when a customer stops

paying or faces insolvency, suppliers

can help to future-proof their financial

position and manage some of the risks

and uncertainties faced in the current

climate.

Bethan Evans is an insolvency partner

at Menzies LLP.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 30


The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 31


TABLE BOOKING

NOW OPEN

Wednesday 5 February 2020,

The Royal Lancaster, London

Will you be joining us at the

CICM British Credit Awards 2020?

We invite you to join us at the spectacular awards ceremony taking place

on Wednesday 5 February 2020 at The Royal Lancaster.

Make sure you don’t miss the most prestigious evening of celebration

and networking in the credit and collections industry!

The Recognised Standard

For more information about booking your table or sponsoring the awards,

please contact Katy Pieris via katy.pieris@incisivemedia.com or visit:

www.cicmbritishcreditawards.com

Sponsors:

Bar sponsor:

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 32


OPINION

Object of desire

Navigating customers towards a desired credit

score is fraught with challenges.

AUTHOR – Stephen Miller

WITH the advent of

GDPR and upon

advice from UK regulators,

there’s an

increasing expectation

on financial institutions

using consumer data for credit

risk modelling to explain how automated

systems make decisions. However, explanations

of credit risk models and decisions

don’t necessarily translate into an

ordered sequence of actions a consumer

can take to improve their score. The increasing

use of machine learning models

also makes it more difficult to generate

model explanations that can be translated

into actionable consumer behaviour. This

creates new challenges when it comes to

explicitly navigating customers to a desired

credit score.

Credit risk scores can be a confusing

and cloudy subject for consumers – they’re

often shocked to learn that ‘a’ credit score

was used in a decision instead of ‘the’

credit score. Multiple generic credit risk

scores exist, and these can be both useful

and beneficial for consumers to learn

more about the profiles of people that

are assessed as being sound credit risks.

However, lending decisions are often

based on a product-specific application

scorecard, and understanding the specific

score is more useful to a consumer looking

to be approved for a particular product,

such as a mortgage.

Suppose a consumer wants to reach

a given credit score or an approval

threshold. There are products in the

market that provide generic advice to

consumers looking to improve their

credit score, such as keeping credit

utilisation below 30 percent or not taking

out a mortgage more than three times

your income. But this advice may not

be relevant to a particular application

scorecard, or to an individual consumer’s

profile, and following the advice may be

infeasible for some consumers, such as

those with little to no credit history or

trying to repair their credit file.

SCORE SIMULATION

Other products simulate a consumer’s

own credit score using ‘what if’ scenarios,

intended to provide the consumer with

the knowledge of how their score would

change as a result of certain actions,

such as applying for a new credit card.

These solutions are more relevant to the

individual, but they do not generally

provide a path to reach a user-specified

score, nor do they provide a sequence of

actions that are necessarily achievable in

a fixed period of time.

In the USA, regulation requires that

the key factors that impact a credit score

must be provided alongside the credit

score. These factors are the items on

the credit report that have the largest

negative impact on the score, but in many

instances are not factors the consumer can

The paths are built

from reasonable and

appropriate monthly

steps, based on what

individuals with

similar profiles have

been able to achieve.

change in the short-term. For example, a

default or heavy search activity cannot

be instantly erased. Therefore, there is

a potential gap between what is causing

the largest negative impact to a credit

score versus what the consumer can do to

improve their score.

What is needed is an approach that

provides the consumer with a sequence of

feasible actions, achievable over a period

of time, tailored to their specific credit

profile, that will enable the consumer to

reach a desired score threshold.

The biggest challenge in developing

this algorithm is to properly define what

the feasible actions are for a particular

consumer, given their circumstances, to

overcome the pitfalls of trial and error

credit score simulators or generic advice.

Secondly, the algorithm must generate a

sequence of such actions that provide an

optimal path across a potentially complex

scoring surface, such as one generated by

machine learning algorithms, capturing

non-linearities and interactions.

Overcoming these challenges was

central to the work of our Data Science

Lab to generate optimal, feasible paths

that consumers can follow to improve

their credit scores. The paths are built

from reasonable and appropriate monthly

steps, based on what individuals with

similar profiles have been able to achieve.

When followed closely by the consumer,

the paths produce the desired score

increase. The advantage of this approach

over credit score simulators that rely on

trial and error and ‘what if’ scenarios is

that the steps proposed are more likely

to be achievable for the consumer, in

addition to being effective. The algorithm

can be applied to any score, requiring

only access to a representative sample of

anonymised consumer credit profiles and

scores over a short period of time. Access

to the scoring function itself is beneficial,

but not essential.

The optimal paths algorithm provides

feasible, actionable, and impactful recommendations

to the consumer, ensuring

they have the best possible opportunity to

make the changes they need to improve

their score.

Stephen Miller is Data and Analytics

Innovation Leader, Europe, Equifax.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 33


www.cicm.com

‘‘

Networking, keeping

myself up-to-date with

current trends and

the continued learning

opportunities are only a few

of the things that provide

great value to my

membership.

Massimo Lepri

MCICM

The value

of CICM

membership

Massimo Lepri MCICM

Senior Credit Controller

Ornua Co-operative Limited

Read more about the value of membership

and join your credit community by visiting:

www.cicm.com/value-of-cicm-membership/

info@cicm.com

www.cicm.com

01780 722900

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 34


TECHNOLOGY IN ACTION

DRIVING DOWN RISK

A new app is described as the eyes and ears of

the automotive credit sector.

AUTHOR – Les Clisby

WITH the automotive

sector facing disrupted

market conditions

and unpredictable

consumer

behaviour, creditors

are having to contend with a higher degree

of risk.

In 2018, 1.52 million cars were built

in the UK, 9.1 percent fewer than in

2017, and most of these went for export.

While car sales across Europe generally

are down, factors affecting UK car sales

are partly related to uncertainty around

Brexit and reduced consumer confidence,

but that is not the whole story.

A fall in demand from the Chinese

market has affected the car industry in

Europe across the board, while new CO2

emission standards are increasing the

price of production. In addition, diesel

cars have seen a 19 percent drop from

2017-2018 because of emissions issues and

changes in taxation among other things.

The EV sector has yet to fill this gap.

On the plus side, the industry, like

others, is benefitting from digitalisation

in all areas which has increased

productivity, flexibility and reduced

lead times. Commercial vehicles and

some brands are bucking the trend and

there is a high degree of excitement over

automation and the enormous EV market

opportunities.

Despite the fall in UK sales, there were

around 2.4 million vehicles registered

in the UK last year. Many of these were

financed by wholesale credit companies,

which amounts to billions of pounds in

creditors' assets on dealership forecourts.

But who keeps a watch on all these

valuable assets?

CONDITION CHECKS

Audit Resource Technology TKS is one of a

small number of firms that is tasked with

checking the presence and condition of

vehicles for sale up and down the country.

The company currently audits vehicles for

Fiat Chrysler Automotive.

The business describes itself as acting

as the eyes and ears of the automotive

credit sector, as Christian Pawsey,

Founder and Director explains: “We have

a team of auditors based around the UK

“While we are there

to check the

presence of each

vehicle, we can also

feedback a general

impression

of the dealership.’’

that visit every dealership on their roster,

physically checking and logging each

vehicle on the client's financed asset list.

“While we are there to check the

presence of each vehicle, we can also

feedback a general impression of the

dealership. If our auditor is at a business

and the forecourt is half empty or it

looks like they are closing down, this

intelligence is then reported back to the

creditors.”

The need for regular audits is required

under FCA regulations, but Christian says

it is also important that he gives clients

accurate information that can be relayed

across the globe at the touch of a button:

“The system we use is simple. The auditor

downloads an app on their mobile phone.

Through geo-location, head office knows

where they are and which business they

are auditing in real time.

“The dealer's financed asset data,

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

numbers and car registrations are

downloaded, and the auditor goes around

the business physically checking each car

and entering it on their phone. If a car is

missing, they try to find out why, checking

and sending any relevant documentation.”

There is a dashboard at head office

in Europe and the person responsible

for managing vehicle assets and risk can

see the data as it is entered in real time:

“At the same time,” Christian continues,

“someone in the regional head office in

the UK can also see what is going on, so

the system is totally transparent, much

more accountable, and everyone can

see that the correct procedure has been

followed.

“Lenders have to demonstrate that

they have effective and measurable

policies around compliance, and with

our system they are able to do this in the

most transparent way. We help lenders

minimise risk by providing real time

visibility and accurate, verified audits of

their assets.”

Christian says the technology also

saves considerable time and money and,

with an option to self-audit for lower risk

customers, provides a variety of choices

for the user: “We’re seeing a picture of

great change in the automotive industry

as it adapts to new technology and new

consumer and regulation requirements.

“The FCA is in the process of reviewing

practices to ensure continued success in

finance growth, so that vehicles sold are

affordable, suitable and that all necessary

processes are followed. This is key to the

success of the industry and should help

to provide a secure future for everyone

involved.”

Les Clisby is a freelance business writer.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 35


PAYMENT TRENDS

Mixed Opinions

The nature of payment terms across regions

and sectors remains unpredictable.

AUTHOR – Jason Braidwood FCICM(Grad)

FOLLOWING positive performances

over the past couple of months, the

latest payment statistics are more of

a mixed bag and more in keeping

with the unpredictable weather

we have experienced of late. The

average Days Beyond Terms (DBT) figures across

sectors and regions increased by 0.4 and 0.9 days

respectively.

SECTOR SPOTLIGHT

The sector standings are not full of improvement

– only eight of the 22 sectors reduced their

payment terms. The Business from Home sector

saw the biggest improvement, reducing its DBT

by an impressive 7.6 days. After a difficult month,

the Energy Supply sector has managed to reduce

its terms by 4.3 days.

For the majority of sectors, it has been a

disappointing month with increases to payment

terms. It has been particularly tough for the

Mining and Quarrying sector, its DBT has

increased by a huge 7.1 days, taking its overall

DBT to 21.5 days making it the worst performing

sector.

Elsewhere, IT and Comms have struggled,

with its DBT rising by 5.3 days. Business Admin

and Support (+3.5 days), Agriculture, Forestry

and Fishing (+3.3 days) and Water and Waste

(+2.2 days) have also had difficulties. Despite a

slight increase of 0.8 days, Public Administration

remains the best performing sector.

REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT

At a regional level, the majority have

seen increases to payment terms, but not

dramatically. Northern Ireland has returned to

claim the dubious title of the worst performing

region following an increase in its payment

terms of 2.8 days, the biggest increase across

all regions. Increases for the West Midlands

(+2.3 days), North West (+2.1 days) and East

Anglia (+2.0 days) have also seen them move

the wrong way in the regional standings.

It was, however, a positive month for two of

the 11 regions, which made reductions to their

payment terms. The biggest improvement

came from the East Midlands, moving off the

bottom of the table following a reduction of

3.4 days. A further reduction of 1.2 days means

the South East is now the best performing

region with an overall DBT of 9.9 days.

Jason Braidwood is Head of Credit and

Collections at Creditsafe Group.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 36


PAYMENT TRENDS

Top Five Prompter Payers

Region Sept 19 Change from Aug 19

South East 9.9 -1.2

South West 10.9 1.1

Wales 11.7 1.3

East Midlands 12.2 -3.4

West Midlands 12.3 2.3

Getting Better

Dormant -8.4

Hospitality -1.9

Manufacturing -0.5

Health and Social -0.4

Construction -0.2

Top Five Prompter Payers

Sector Sept 19 Change from Aug 19

Public Administration 6.5 0.8

International Bodies 7.7 1.6

Health and Social 8.3 -0.4

Entertainment 8.8 0.3

Hospitality 8.9 -1.9

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Region Sept 19 Change from Aug 19

Northern Ireland 14.8 2.8

East Anglia 13.6 2

North West 13.3 2.1

Yorkshire and Humberside 13 1.2

London 12.8 0.6

Getting Worse

Other Service 2.2

Wholesale and retail trade 2.2

Real Estate 2

Transportation and Storage 1.8

Professional and Scientific 1.2

Bottom Five Poorest Payers

Sector Sept 19 Change from Aug 19

Mining and Quarrying 21.5 7.1

Business from Home 16.2 -7.6

Business Admin and Support 15 3.5

Energy Supply 14.9 -4.3

IT and Comms 14.6 5.9

Region

Getting Better – Getting Worse

-3.4

-1.2

2.8

2.3

2.1

2

1.3

1.2

1.1

East Midlands

South East

Northern Ireland

West Midlands

North West

East Anglia

Wales

Yorkshire & Humberside

South West

NORTHERN

IRELAND

2.8 DBT

NORTH

WEST

2.1 DBT

YORKSHIRE &

HUMBERSIDE

1.2 DBT

WALES

1.3 DBT

WEST

MIDLANDS

2.3 DBT

EAST

MIDLANDS

-3.4 DBT

EAST

ANGLIA

2 DBT

The biggest improvement came

from the East Midlands, moving off

the bottom of the table following a

reduction of 3.4 days.

SOUTH

WEST

1.1 DBT

SOUTH

EAST

-1.2 DBT

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 37


INTERNATIONAL

TRADE

Monthly round-up of the latest stories

in global trade by Andrea Kirkby.

The winners and losers

in the war on oil

THE attack on Saudi oil processing

facilities, together with the Trump

administration’s determination to pin the

blame on Iran, has further exacerbated

trade tensions – and led to a 20 percent rise

in the oil price, its biggest move ever.

This isn’t the first disruption to Gulf oil

supplies – we’ve already seen attacks on

tankers in the Strait of Hormuz – but it is

the biggest. And it accompanies a steady

worsening of tensions between the US

and Iran. In the long term, higher oil prices

could push inflation up to five percent

– and push global growth downwards,

too. Only oil exporting countries such as

Colombia, Nigeria and Russia stand to

benefit – most other economies will see

deteriorating balance of payments as the

amount they have to spend on oil imports

rises. As for corporates, the stock markets

have already savaged airlines’ share

prices. If your customers are energyintensive,

or use petrochemical feedstock,

it's time to start modelling what happens

to their profitability and balance sheets if

the oil price hits $100. And you need to run

the same analysis for each country you

export to.

FORGET THE MANKINI –

BORAT LEADS THE WAY

IF you’re looking for a new country to export

to, why not give Kazakhstan a thought? Oil and

mineral rich, it’s not going to be too damaged

by the current oil price moves, while a growing,

well-educated middle class in Almaty and

Astana has created a buoyant consumer market.

(While in Almaty, I visited Marks & Spencer, Costa

Coffee, and Starbucks – as well as a fantastic

Peking chicken stand run by a Kazakh who had

studied in Hong Kong and brought the Peking

duck recipe back with him.)

For years, the big issue was what would

happen when father of the nation, Nursiltan

Nazarbaev, stood down. In fact, he seems to have

passed the baton seamlessly to new President

Tokayev. The economy continues to grow, with

estimated 3.2 percent GDP growth this year, and

the currency is one of the more stable in the

region. (In fairness, Credendo is still moving the

political risk rating down a notch, partly because

of a more challenging international situation

as the Kazakh government tries to square its

Russian affiliation with increasing Chinese

investment.)

There are huge opportunities for British

exporters. The extractive sector and booming

real estate create opportunities in capital goods,

consulting and architectural services, while

education and branded consumer goods are

huge potential markets. Healthcare and finance

are also interesting areas: Astana has created

a finance hub for the region, though it's early

days and the big Russian banks are competing

strongly (Kazakhstan is a member of the Russialed

Eurasian Economic Union).

So forget the mankini – pack a business suit

and get going!

ETHIOPIA – UNDER PRESSURE BUT STILL GROWING

ETHIOPIA is having a difficult time,

with a recent coup attempt, ethnic

tensions in several areas, and high

government debt. But Prime Minister

Abiy Ahmed has brought change –

opening the country's borders, fighting

corruption, freeing both political

prisoners and markets, and giving

the regions greater autonomy. He’s

also trying to diversify the economy

away from its current commodity

basis (mainly coffee). It's by no means

certain that his reforms will stick, but

for the moment it’s working.

GDP growth remains the highest in

the region, though it's slowing from

nine percent in 2017 to an expected

seven percent plus this year. But the

reason for getting into this market

isn't just a few years of good growth;

Ethiopia is ‘at the crossroads’ as

Credendo heads its latest report. Get in

now, and you could create substantial

market share in the leading economy

of the region. Alternatively, you could

see things go wrong all over again; it’s

a high risk move, so you'll want to be

very canny with your trade financing.

You’ll also want to watch the

Ethiopian birr. It's one of the more

stable currencies in the region, but its

crawling peg with the US dollar only

seems to crawl one way. (See our focus

on Ethiopia in Credit Management’s

June 2019 and July/August 2019

editions).

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 38


We’re only here for the beer

KUDOS to Saltaire Brewery which, seeing

the UK beer market as relatively mature,

has decided to start exporting. It's headed

for European markets where imported

beer has already been successful, such

as Slovenia and Croatia, as well as

Scandinavia, Japan, Italy and Spain.

But just exporting UK brewed beer isn’t

its only route to export markets. Saltaire

has also cooperated with US brewer

Lone Pine Brewing. A salutary reminder

that exporters need to be imaginative

and open to more than one way of doing

things.

Export is still a minority of the

brewery’s business. But as well as adding

growth potential and diversification, it's

helped improve the business’s public

profile – particularly with its role as a

Northern Powerhouse Export Champion.

And that, in its turn, will bring new

opportunities – because in export, as in

everything else, nothing succeeds like

success.

Cracks are beginning to show

COFACE'S latest research shows Asian

payment terms are steadily getting worse.

The average delay in payments has risen

from 84 to 88 days – but the situation is

even worse in China (which you might

expect) and Malaysia and Singapore (which

you might not). As for sectors, construction

has big issues given a real estate slowdown,

but ICT and energy do too.

A major cause of delays is customers

hitting the financial buffers; competition

has squeezed margins, so if revenues falter,

When the music stops – get off!

INVESTMENT house BlackRock has been

doing some hard thinking about what

it calls ‘the monetary policy endgame’.

More than a decade after the credit

crunch, banks are still trying to stave

off deflation. Many interest rates are

negative, and some central banks have

moved on from buying government

bonds to buying corporates and even

equities to boost the capital markets.

Shockingly, one third of all developed

world investment grade bonds now have

negative yields. What happens when the

music stops?

BlackRock thinks the banks have one

big weapon left – currency debasement,

or devaluation. In order to stop deflation,

you simply weaken your currency. The

problem, of course, is that to devalue

there's no way to soften the blow.

Worse, ultra-long delays (over 180

days) have increased. Only 26 percent of

companies experienced such delays on

more than two percent of turnover in 2016:

last year, that rose to 38 percent. Now that

many economies in the region are slowing,

we could see even worse delays.

So if your company is one of those

that headed to Asia to take advantage of

faster growth, it’s time to batten down the

hatches.

one currency, another currency has to

strengthen. I remember a little flurry

of devaluations after the credit crunch

– but what happens if this time, with

increased political risk, we get full-scale

multilateral currency wars? BlackRock

tells its investors to overweight

investments that don't depend on fiat

money, such as equities and real estate.

The message for corporate treasuries,

though, is different: watch out for savage

currency moves, and be very careful to

minimise your exposures.

Although...central banks will have

a completely different problem if the

disruption to oil supply sends inflation

back up to five percent. And so far, noone

has modelled the implications of an

oil price surge for fiscal policy.

eBay – the new voice

of export

THINK of British exporters and maybe

you think of an export manager flying

out to Singapore or Bratislava, or a local

distributor in Dar-es-Salaam...but what

about a mother of two in her back bedroom

or a hardware wizard in a portakabin?

According to eBay, we need to start

appreciating the contribution of sole

traders and SMEs to export – and giving

them a voice when it comes to striking

trade deals.

There are no fewer than 200,000 small

traders on eBay UK, and almost two thirds

of them are at least occasional exporters.

Using eBay gives them a simple and

cost-effective way to address multiple

export markets – an opportunity they

have adopted with enthusiasm. But they

also need the right trade deals – and given

the majority of the top ten markets they

address are in the EU or EEA, Brexit is

going to give many of them headaches. It's

a good thing eBay is speaking up for them.

Find me if you can

IF you have goods being exported over the

Brexit deadline of 31 October, be careful to

track their whereabouts – and if possible,

expedite their arrival. Goods in transit may

arrive after the rules have changed, and in

the worst case, could actually not be legal

to export at all. Some goods may attract

duties of 20 percent or more. Best case?

You’re going to have delivery delays (which

might also mean you experience payment

delays) and plenty of rehashed paperwork

to do.

It's not just exports to the EU that are

affected, either, but also to those countries

where we currently trade under EU-wide

deals. You might want to take a look at your

shipments and do a rough estimate of the

potential liability – it could be more than

you think.

EXCHANGE RATES VISIT

CURRENCYUK.CO.UK

OR CALL 020 7738 0777

Currency UK is authorised and regulated

by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

GBP/EUR

GBP/USD

GBP/CHF

GBP/AUD

GBP/CAD

CURRENCY UK

HIGH LOW TREND

1.16332 1.10922 up

1.29398 1.22022 up

1.28512 1.21112 up

1.90711 1.80882 up

1.70342 1.62034 up

GBP/JPY 140.83778 130.60150 up

The data was taken on 18 October and refers to the month

previous to/leading up to 18 October.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 39


TRADE TALK

Keep on trucking

Brexit has brought our borders and Customs

procedures into focus like never before.

AUTHOR – Lesley Batchelor OBE FCICM

Lesley Batchelor

BEFORE the 2016

referendum on the UK’s

continued membership

of the EU, goods were

moved over the channel,

North Sea and Irish border

without much qualm. The freedom of

movement for goods meant that exporting

into Europe only involved transporting

goods, and the customs documentation

and procedures remained the preserve of

the more adventurous exporter sending

goods beyond the European continent.

Move on three years and we are now

in a situation where the very definition of

what constitutes a border is headline news

– particularly on the island of Ireland.

Whatever happens in the coming weeks

and months we are in for a period of change

and it’s almost certain that it will not be as

easy to move goods over the UK border as it

has been over the last few decades.

British businesses wishing to export

to the EU will now need to learn about

Customs procedures including completing

Customs Declarations, accessing Customs

Procedures Codes (CPCs) and trusted

trader schemes like Authorised Economic

Operator (AEO). However, as anyone who

exported before the European customs

union was introduced will tell you, this is

all perfectly doable, you just need to take

the time to learn how it’s done.

CUSTOMS DECLARATIONS

To continue exporting into Europe after

Brexit, you’ll need to ensure you’ve got an

Economic Operator Indicator (EORI). This

is a 12-digit number that includes your VAT

Registration Number. If you don’t already

have it, (HMRC automatically enrolled

those actively exporting to the EU) you’ll

need to visit gov.uk/eori.

You’ll need the EORI number in order to

complete your Customs Declaration, which

is a document detailing the goods that are

being imported or exported and is required

for the movement of goods over borders.

Completing a Customs Declaration

requires some basic know-how. If you’re

not using a Customs Agent or Broker to

support you with your future exports, you

should consider a training course that

tells you how to complete a declaration

correctly. Remember, anything to do with

your business declarations to HMRC is

your responsibility even if you’re asking

someone else to complete your paperwork,

so the buck stops with you.

Fortunately, the Government is

providing funding to cover the cost of any

course that teaches you how to complete

Customs declarations. The Institute of

Export and International Trade (IoE&IT)

provides several training courses that

can be fully funded by these grants, so

please do get in touch if you’d like to learn

this important skill, or visit export.org.uk/

CustomsGrants for more information. The

deadline to apply for grant funding is 31

January 2020.

PROOF OF EXPORT

The other element of exporting anywhere

in the world is tariff schedules. Although

the UK has lodged its own temporary

tariff schedule with the World Trade

Organisation (WTO) for goods being

imported into the UK, the UK will likely be

trading on different terms. Some imports

are being zero rated to avoid gridlock

situations. The main point must be that

things are changing.

To find out what taxes and duties you’ll

need to pay under WTO rules, you’ll need

to know what the tariff code for your

product category is within the Harmonized

Commodity Description and Coding System

(HS). You’ll then need to look at the EU’s

‘Most Favoured Nation’ (MFN) rules within

their WTO tariff schedule. You’ll then need

to use your tariff code to establish what

duty or taxes are payable according to these

rules, as well as other factors including

anti-dumping duty, quotas, inspections

and licences.

Many businesses have already stockpiled

goods or parts either side of the border to

mitigate for a crash exit, but stockpiling

comes at a significant cost. Aside from

this, the best thing you can do is to ensure

you have the knowledge required to export

compliantly in all situations.

Lesley Batchelor OBE FCICM is Director

General of the Institute of Export and

International Trade.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 40


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controlaccount.com


INTRODUCING OUR

CORPORATE PARTNERS

For further information and to discuss the opportunities of entering into a

Corporate Partnership with the CICM, please contact corporatepartners@cicm.com

Hays Credit Management is a national specialist

division dedicated exclusively to the recruitment of

credit management and receivables professionals,

at all levels, in the public and private sectors. As

the CICM’s only Premium Corporate Partner, we

are best placed to help all clients’ and candidates’

recruitment needs as well providing guidance on

CV writing, career advice, salary bench-marking,

marketing of vacancies, advertising and campaign

led recruitment, competency-based interviewing,

career and recruitment trends.

T: 07834 260029

E: karen.young@hays.com

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

The Company Watch platform provides risk analysis

and data modelling tools to organisations around

the world that rely on our ability to accurately predict

their exposure to financial risk. Our H-Score®

predicted 92 percent of quoted company insolvencies

and our TextScore® accuracy rate was 93

percent. Our scores are trusted by credit professionals

within banks, corporates, investment houses

and public sector bodies because, unlike other credit

reference agencies, we are transparent and flexible

in our approach.

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300

E: info@companywatch.net

W: www.companywatch.net

HighRadius is a Fintech enterprise Software-as-a-Service

(SaaS) company. Its Integrated Receivables platform

reduces cycle times in the Order to Cash process through

automation of receivables and payments across credit,

e-invoicing and payment processing, cash allocation,

dispute resolution and collections. Powered by the RivanaTM

Artificial Intelligence Engine and Freeda Digital

Assistant for Order to Cash teams, HighRadius enables

more than 450 organisations to leverage machine

learning to predict future outcomes and automate routine

labour intensive tasks.

T: +44 7399 406889

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com

W: www.highradius.com

Forums International has been running Credit and

Industry Forums since 1991 covering a range of

industry sectors and international trading. Attendance

is for credit professionals of all levels. Our forums

are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges

ahead. Attending for the first time is free for you to

gauge the benefits and meet the members and we

only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never

intentionally be sold to.

Chris Sanders Consulting (Sanders Consulting

Associates) has three areas of activity providing

credit management leadership and performance

improvement, international working capital

improvement consulting assignments and

managing the CICMQ Best Practice Accreditation

programme on behalf of the CICM. Plans for

2019 include international client assignments in

India, China, USA, Middle East and the ongoing

development of the CICMQ Programme.

Key IVR provide a suite of products to assist companies

across Europe with credit management. The

service gives the end-user the means to make a

payment when and how they choose. Key IVR also

provides a state-of-the-art outbound platform delivering

automated messages by voice and SMS. In a

credit management environment, these services are

used to cost-effectively contact debtors and connect

them back into a contact centre or automated

payment line.

T: +44 (0)1246 555055

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk

T: +44(0)7747 761641

E: chris@chrissandersconsulting.com

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000

E: sales@keyivr

W: www.keyivr.co.uk

American Express® is a globally recognised provider

of business payment solutions, providing flexible

capabilities to help companies drive growth. These

solutions support buyers and suppliers across the

supply chain with working capital and cashflow.

By creating an additional lever to help support

supplier/client relationships American Express is

proud to be an innovator in the business payments

space.

T: +44 (0)1273 696933

W: www.americanexpress.com

Building on our mature and hugely successful

product and world class support service, we are

re-imagining our risk awareness module in 2019 to

allow for hugely flexible automated worklists and

advanced visibility of areas of risk. Alongside full

integration with all credit scoring agencies (e.g.

Creditsafe), this makes Credica a single port-of-call

for analysis and automation. Impressive results

and ROI are inevitable for our customers that also

have an active input into our product development

and evolution.

T: 01235 856400

E: info@credica.co.uk

W: www.credica.co.uk

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps

businesses pay and get paid. Businesses and banks

rely on Bottomline for domestic and international

payments, effective cash management tools, automated

workflows for payment processing and bill review

and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural

analytics and regulatory compliance. Every day, we

help our customers by making complex business

payments simple, secure and seamless.

T: 0870 081 8250

E: emea-info@bottomline.com

W: www.bottomline.com/uk

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 42


Each of our Corporate Partners is carefully selected for

their commitment to the profession, best practice in the

Credit Industry and the quality of services they provide.

We are delighted to showcase them here.

THEY'RE WAITING TO TALK TO YOU...

Onguard is a specialist in credit management

software and a market leader in innovative solutions

for Order to Cash. Our integrated platform ensures

an optimal connection of all processes in the Order

to Cash chain and allows sharing of critical data. Our

intelligent tools can seamlessly interconnect and

offer overview and control of the payment process,

as well as contribute to a sustainable customer relationship.

The Onguard platform is successfully used

for successful credit management in more than 50

countries.

T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66

E: ruurd.bakker@onguard.com

W: www.onguard.com

The Atradius Collections business model is to support

businesses and their recoveries. We are seeing a

deterioration and increase in unpaid invoices placing

pressures on cashflow for those businesses. Brexit

is causing uncertainty and we are seeing a significant

impact on the UK economy with an increase in

insolvencies, now also impacting the continent and

spreading. Our geographical presence is expanding

and with a single IT platform across the globe we can

provide greater efficiencies and effectiveness to our

clients to recover their unpaid invoices.

T: +44 (0)2920 824700

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading

provider of business information, analytics, insights

and solutions. Graydon helps its customers to make

fast, accurate decisions, enabling them to minimise

risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities

with their commercial relationships. Graydon

uses 130+ international databases and the information

of 90+ million companies. Graydon has offices in

London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,

Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of the world’s

largest credit insurance companies.

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk

W: www.graydon.co.uk

Rimilia provides intelligent, finance automation

solutions that enable customers to get paid on time

and control their cashflow and cash collection in

real time. Rimilia’s software solutions use sophisticated

analytics and artificial intelligence to predict

customer payment behaviour and easily match and

reconcile payments, removing the uncertainty of

cash collection. Rimilia’s software automates the

complete accounts receivable process improving

cash allocation, bank reconciliation and credit management

operations.

T: +44 (0)1527 872123

E: enquiries@rimilia.com

W: www.rimilia.com

Improve cash flow, cash collection and prevent late

payment with Corrivo from Data Interconnect.

Corrivo, intelligent invoice to cash automation

highlights where accounts receivable teams should

focus their effort for best results. Easy-to-learn,

Invoicing, Collection and Dispute modules get collection

teams up and running fast. Minimal IT input required.

Real-time dashboards, reporting and self-service

customer portals, improve customer communication

and satisfaction scores. Cost-effective, flexible Corrivo,

super-charges your cash collection effort.

T: +44 (0)1367 245777

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk

W: www.datainterconnect.com

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern

finance leaders and credit professionals to improve

business performance through more effective risk

management, identification of growth opportunities,

and better integration of data and insights

across the business. Powered by our Data Cloud,

our solutions provide access to the world’s most

comprehensive commercial data and insights

supplying a continually updated view of business

relationships that help finance and credit teams

stay ahead of market shifts and customer changes.

T: (0800) 001-234

W: www.dnb.co.uk

Shared Services Forum UK Limited

Shared Services Forum UK is a not-for-profit

membership organisation. with one vision, to form

the largest community of people from the business

world and facilitate a platform for them to work

together to mutual benefits. Benefits include; networking

with like-minded professionals in Shared

Services. The criteria is a willingness to engage in

our lively community and help shape our growth

and development.

T: 07864 652518

E: forum.manager@sharedservicesforumuk.com

W: www.sharedservicesforumuk.com

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables

into income, uniquely connecting buyers and

suppliers to allow discounts in exchange for

early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers

access additional liquidity sources by accelerating

payments from buyers when required in just two

clicks, at a rate that works for them. Buyers, often

corporates with global supply chains, benefit from

the C2FO solution by improving gross margin while

strengthening the financial health of supply chains

through ethical business practices.

T: 07799 692193

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com

W: www.c2fo.com

Tinubu Square is a trusted source of trade credit

intelligence for credit insurers and for corporate

customers. The company’s B2B Credit Risk

Intelligence solutions include the Tinubu Risk

Management Center, a cloud-based SaaS platform;

the Tinubu Credit Intelligence service and the

Tinubu Risk Analyst advisory service. Over 250

companies rely on Tinubu Square to protect their

greatest assets: customer receivables.

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /

E: uksales@tinubu.com

W: www.tinubu.com.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 43


INTRODUCING OUR

CORPORATE

PARTNERS

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work

closely with credit teams to recover commercial

debts as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt

recovery, including:

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and

keep costs down • Litigation service • Insolvency

• Post-litigation services including enforcement

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to

relate to your goals, and adept at advising you on the

most effective way of achieving them.

T: 03700 86 3000

E: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk

W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk

2019 CICM

EVENTS NOT

TO BE MISSED

Workshops

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for

organisations seeking efficient cash visibility

and secure financial processes. As an SAP

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies

worldwide. With more than 30 years of experience

and thousands of successful customer projects,

including solutions for the entire order-to-cash

process, Serrala provides credit managers and

receivables professionals with the solutions they

need to successfully protect their business against

credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.

T: +44 118 207 0450

E: contact@serrala.com

W: www.serrala.com

Round

Table Events

Webinars

CICM Best

Practice Events

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes

the all-too-common obstacles preventing today’s

businesses from collecting receivables in a timely

manner. From invoice delivery to cash application,

Esker automates each step. Esker's automated AR

system powered by TermSync helps companies

modernise without replacing their core billing and

collections processes. By simply automating what

should be automated, customers get the post-sale

experience they deserve and your team gets the

tools they need.

T: +44 (0)1332 548176

E: sam.townsend@esker.co.uk

W: www.esker.co.uk

Just another great

reason to be a member

See full programme at

www.cicm.com/events

www.cicm.com

+44 (0)1780 722902

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 44


EDUCATION/MEMBERSHIP

WINNING MENTALITY

Debbie Tuckwood sat down with

Charles Davey, the winner of the CICM prize for

Best Credit Management Project.

WHY did you decide to go

to university and choose

an accounting and

finance course?

Originally, I wasn’t sure if

university was for me. I wanted to start working

but wasn’t sure what route to take. Following

my A-Levels, I began working as an Aquatics

Coordinator in a leisure centre. This role

quickly highlighted that I wanted to work in

an environment that challenged and stretched

me, allowing me to reach my full potential. I

therefore came to the conclusion that university

would be the best option as it would produce

more opportunities moving forwards whilst

giving me some time to ‘network’.

I chose accounting and finance specifically

as I wanted to study a subject that would be

useful in any business I went into. Even if I

chose to not pursue accounting and finance

in the future, the fundamental knowledge and

skills would be transferable. I chose to study

at Plymouth University in particular as they

have created their course around becoming

chartered and therefore provide students with

multiple exemptions from many professional

qualifications including CIMA, ACA and ACCA.

What attracted you to the credit

management module?

I elected for the credit management module for

two main reasons. Firstly, the credit function

of any business can be vital to its survival and

it is imperative that it is managed well. With

this in mind, I wanted to explore how credit

management works and whether there was

more than meets the eye.

I also chose this module for the enthusiasm

of my lecturer, Professor Salima Paul. During

the module selection period, I reviewed each

module and spoke to each module leader.

Following a conversation with Salima, some of

her passion rubbed off and I had to explore the

area further.

Did the course live up to expectations?

What do you feel that you gained from

the course?

It started off simple enough to ease students in

but the learning curve never seemed to peak and

ease off. Instead it continually added more and

more depth and breadth to my understanding.

The course allowed me not only to remember

patterns and routines to pass exams, but more

importantly gave me the ability to learn how

to critically evaluate, and cross-reference

knowledge from area to area as well as tie in

my pre-existing knowledge to produce my

own views, options and put forward logical

arguments. For example, using psychology

learning studies to help understand how people

work, and how different environmental cues

can encourage people to behave differently

which ultimately affects the finance side of a

business.

In addition, the course has an optional

placement year where I worked as an Internal

Auditor with RSM UK. This role allowed me to

view another side of business (risk assurance).

This year can also be used towards my

professional experience when qualifying.

What did winning the CICM prize mean

to you?

Finding out I won the CICM prize was

exhilarating. I was overwhelmed with knowing

that all my hard work had been recognised by

such a well-renowned organisation. It was a

highlight of my university career and such an

amazing way to kick start my career.

What job do you have now? How did you

get it?

I am working for Virgin Media as a Finance

Graduate. I am working in Management

Accounts with the plan to rotate across different

roles on an annual basis for the following three

years. I was offered the role following a long

recruitment process which included applying

for the role, completing online tests, then a

video interview and finally an assessment centre

comprising interviews and presentations.

Are you living abroad?

No, my induction was in Amsterdam. I am

not currently living abroad, but there are

opportunities within Virgin Media/Liberty

Global for international transfers each year for

the following three years. The job does include

some international travel, however.

What do you hope to do in the future?

As for the future, I am hoping to be CIMA

qualified as a CGMA (Chartered Global

Management Accountant) in two years’ time.

Following these two years I will be finishing

my third and final year as a graduate with

Virgin Media/Liberty Global and looking to

take up a role in management or strategy.

Beyond the three years, I hope to keep learning

and developing skills allowing me to progress

into more senior roles within an organisation

which focus on more high level activities and

decisions. Onwards and upwards!

Debbie Tuckwood is Chief Advisor

(Professional Development) at CICM.

Charles Davey

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 45


EDUCATION/MEMBERSHIP

Keep it simple

CICM Trainer, Barry Durman FCICM, outlines

the fundamentals of credit and collections.

AUTHOR – Barry Durman FCICM

Barry Durman FCICM

Having previously held a variety

of senior line management

positions in customer services

and credit control, his clients

now include many household

names and FTSE 250 companies

in industries such as newspapers,

hotels, builders’ merchants,

utilities, telecoms, manufacturing

and retailing.

I

have spent the last 20 years

delivering training and working

with businesses implementing

best practice systems and

procedures. It’s great fun

supporting and working with

credit teams, ensuring they have the tools

and techniques needed to develop and

improve team performance.

Many friends of mine cannot believe

that businesses get themselves into such

a pickle. They say ‘surely these businesses

have got people to do their credit control?

After all it’s quite simple, all you do is send

customers an invoice and if they don’t pay

promptly you phone them up a couple of

times, send a couple of letters, put them on

stop and if they still don’t pay, sue them.’

Actually, they have a point. If credit

managers are crystal clear about the

company credit policy and keep it

straightforward, the credit team can do the

rest – providing they have received effective

induction and training.

So, what are the fundamentals of good

credit management?

1 Make sure you know who you are

dealing with from the start. Ensure

customers complete a one-page credit

application form. Get them to sign that

they want a credit account, that they

agree to your terms and to you credit

checking them. Then use an established

Credit Reference Agency to check the

details and suggest a credit limit. Their

suggestion is not a rule, it is guidance, so

be flexible to the business needs.

2 Don’t have numerous different

payment terms because it makes things

complicated. Stick to seven or 30 days. I

also like the 15th or 20th of the month

following because each month’s invoices

go overdue on the same day each month.

3 Allocate a credit limit to each account

but have a minimum – say £1,000. Be

prepared to be flexible with limits where

customers are paying promptly.

4 Start chasing for payment before

invoices become overdue. Some say that

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 46


EDUCATION/MEMBERSHIP

not many invoices are paid to terms,

but CICM has shown that about 50

percent are. Don’t just chase overdues,

chase for payment while the debt is

due so it can be paid on time.

5 Compile and publish a simple

collection timetable showing when

you will send reminders, when you will

phone, when you will put customers on

hold and when you refer the account

for collection. Then stick to it.

6 Keep sales (and fee earners in practice)

involved as things progress. The motto

should be ‘no surprises.’ They need to

be signatories to the credit policy.

7 Have a simple spreadsheet to record

every single invoice query. In my

experience, large numbers of invoices

are not paid on time because of

problems with either the product or

the invoice. So, improve on resolving

queries and issuing credit notes where

appropriate.

8 Treat key accounts specially. We need

them to pay to terms but standard

policies cannot be applied to them.

They normally have numerous invoices

and more queries.

Credit managers are sometimes,

unfairly, referred to as sales prevention

officers. Sometimes we can be too

inflexible and that title is appropriate,

but more often than not we are extremely

flexible. Our job is to find ways to do

business which lower the risk of late or

non-payment. We will almost never lose

business by doing good, relatively strict

credit control. Our customers like our

products and services, they expect to pay

us and expect to be chased if they don’t.

And finally remember that the word

credit is derived from the Latin word

‘credo’ meaning to trust. Our customers

trust us to deliver, we trust them to pay.

It usually works well with a bit of a push

from us!

CICM CREDIT AND

COLLECTIONS TRAINING

• Advanced Telephone Collection Skills

• Collecting with Confidence

• Consumer Credit Collections

• Essential Telephone Collection Techniques

• Getting started in Credit Control and Collections

• Negotiating and Influencing

• Psychology of Collections

• Psychology of Telephone Collections

• Consumer Telephone Collections

• Introduction to Credit Risk Assessment

• Tracing the Gone Away

• Consumer telephone collections and negotiations

• Working with your customers –

How to conduct a customer visit

• Getting your message across –

confident communications for credit and finance

• International Collection Skills

• Interpersonal skills for credit and finance

• Working with Sales – Communicating with impact

Programmes can be tailored or bespoke to ensure they are relevant to

current needs in support of business objectives.

CICM training programmes cover all levels and functions of credit

management and collections including:

Credit Control and Collections | Credit Risk | Litigation | Financial |

Export Management | General Business | Industry Specific

Expert trainers share their knowledge and experiences, tips, tools and

techniques to help improve effectiveness of the team.

• Delivery is designed to meet the needs of all sectors, trade or consumer,

using current best practice tools and techniques.

• Cost effective training to upskill, motivate and develop knowledge, skills

and performance for a maximum of 15 delegates per day.

• CPD hours are attributed to all training programmes.

Contact Julie Dalton, In-company Training Adviser, to discuss

your requirements. E: training@cicm.com, T: +44 (0)1780 722907.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 47


CAREERS ADVICE

Rise of the machines

Is your organisation really prepared for digital

transformation?

AUTHOR – Karen Young

Karen Young

DIGITAL technology is

being implemented

across the accountancy

and finance sector and

its presence is being felt

in credit and receivables,

where more administrative tasks are

being reduced and process efficiencies

enhanced.

Findings from the Hays ‘What Workers

Want 2019’ report reveal that investment

in digital transformation is a priority

for three-quarters (75 percent) of credit

functions, with a quarter (25 percent)

saying it is their primary focus. So how

can credit professionals ensure their

organisation is adequately prepared for

digital transformation and that their

investment goes smoothly?

Our findings suggest that credit

professionals need to adopt a more

positive mindset if they are to make the

most of digital technology. Although

almost all (95 percent) professionals

in this function feel that technology is

changing their world for the better in the

workplace and in everyday life, far fewer

(69 percent) said that they had an open

mindset towards digital transformation.

This result was among the lowest of

all accountancy and finance functions

alongside tax (68 percent) and accounts

payable (65 percent).

Looking at automation more closely

also reveals a difference in the sentiment

of professionals as an employee compared

to an employer. Over three-quarters (79

percent) of employers have a positive view

of automation in the workplace compared

to 56 percent of employees. When it comes

to their organisation’s investment in this

area, 44 percent of employers said they

were excited compared to just 26 percent

of employees.

Both employers and staff can

change their mindset when it comes to

automation and digital transformation.

Employers are encouraged to create a

culture for change by hiring change

experts to help their business implement

new digital technology over the long-term.

Employees should also adopt a software

mindset and embrace new technology in

their organisation as well as find out what

automation initiatives are taking place

within their team.

PRIORITISE UPSKILLING

When it comes to the skills needed for

successful digital transformation, our

findings present a mixed picture. The

large majority (68 percent) of credit

respondents think their organisation is

well equipped to deal with technological

change, but only 22

percent of employers

say they have all of the

skills needed within

their organisation to

meet their technology

objectives and support

digital transformation.

In fact, a lack of

skills from current

staff was revealed to be

the top barrier against

the implementation

of automation for

43 percent of credit

employers. This was

much higher than the

next most cited difficulties, including

integration with different departments

(33 percent), insufficient training and

difficulty combining implementation

with existing processes (both 30 percent).

Based on this reported lack of skills,

employers are urged to prioritise the

upskilling of their staff. By supporting

lifelong learning and targeted skills

development, employees won’t feel

forced to upskill themselves in isolation

without proper guidance. Whatever your

approach to upskilling, remember that

digital technology is constantly changing

and that your organisation, and your

workforce, need to keep up.

Our findings

suggest that credit

professionals need

to adopt a more

positive mindset

if they are to make

the most of digital

technology.

BUILD AWARENESS

A final area to consider to ensure your

organisation is prepared is building

awareness. Credit professionals appear

to already be fairly aware of what the

benefits of investment in this area are,

particularly when it comes to automation.

Almost three-quarters (74 percent) believe

they are aware of what it can offer to the

workplace and 82 percent think that

automation allows people to add greater

human value to an organisation now and

in the future.

In terms of the specific benefits of

automation, improved productivity

is perceived to be the biggest benefit

according to 29 percent of credit

professionals, followed by cost savings

(27 percent) and process efficiencies (21

percent).

While credit professionals are fairly

aware of the benefits of digital transformation

and of automation

in particular,

other finance

functions such as

public practice and

internal audit, risk

and compliance

are more aware (90

percent and 86 percent

respectively).

Credit employers

shouldn’t be afraid

to promote their

organisation’s investment

in digital

transformation and

promote activity

at key points along the hiring process to

keep professionals in the know.

Understanding the value of investment

in digital technology alongside

prioritising upskilling staff and creating

an organisational culture favouring

change are key for organisations on their

digital transformation journey. By taking

these recommendations on board, credit

professionals will be as prepared as they

can for the changing nature of digital

transformation in the workplace and feel

rewarded by the benefits it has to offer.

Karen Young is Director at Hays

Credit Management.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 48


www.cicm.com

‘‘

CICM Membership

has given me the

opportunity to learn

and share skills within

a community sharing

the same objective

and goal.

Wendy Zhungu

ACICM

The value

of CICM

membership

Wendy Zhungu ACICM

AR & Credit Manager, Moove Lubricants Ltd

Read more about the value of membership

and join your credit community by visiting

www.cicm.com/value-of-cicm-membership/

info@cicm.com

www.cicm.com

01780 722900


HR MATTERS ROUNDUP

TAKING PART

Employers must reassess contractual holiday

entitlement for part-year workers in light of a

Court of Appeal ruling.

AUTHOR – Gareth Edwards

IS it lawful to pro-rate the leave and pay

entitlement for permanent staff who only work

for part of a year? This, as well as the use of the

12.07 percent multiplier as a way of meeting

holiday pay entitlement, is what the Court

of Appeal considered in a case that has far

reaching implications across many sectors.

In the case, Harpur Trust v Brazel, Mrs Brazel was

employed as a music teacher on a permanent contract.

She worked term time only and her hours of work were

dictated by pupil demand. Her hours and pay varied

accordingly.

She wasn’t required to work in school holiday

periods, and she was paid in respect of her holiday pay

three times a year at the start of each of the main holiday

periods. The employer calculated this based on hours

worked by Mrs Brazel in the preceding term and using

the multiplier of 12.07 percent.

METHODOLOGY USED

The 12.07 percent is a methodology suggested by ACAS

in its guidance ‘Holidays and Holiday Pay’. All workers

are entitled under the Working Time Regulations 1998

(WTR) to 5.6 weeks' paid leave in each year. The 12.07

percent methodology equates to 5.6 weeks holiday/46.4

working weeks (so pro-rating from a full-time 52 weeks

per year contract).

The argument before the courts was whether the use

of 12.07 percent met the requirements of UK legislation

as set out within the Working Time Regulations.

The Working Time Regulations state that all workers

are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ leave each year. Although the

European Directive from which the UK rights were

implemented would allow some form of pro-rating (as

has been established in European case law), that had

not been expressly adopted in the UK Working Time

Regulations.

Accordingly, the argument put forward by Mrs Brazel

was that she should be entitled to 5.6 weeks’ leave a year

even though she only worked during term time.

Mrs Brazel also argued that because she had no

normal working hours, the amount she should be paid

for her holiday should be calculated by averaging her

pay over the 12 weeks actually worked immediately prior

to the relevant holiday being taken (discounting any

weeks where there was no pay at all), rather than using

the 12.07 percent multiplier.

A TECHNICALITY

The Court of Appeal agreed with Mrs Brazel that

technically this was the case. This means that someone

who is employed under a permanent contract but only

works for part of the year should receive the same

holiday entitlement as an individual who works all

year round. They also receive a proportionately higher

rate of pay for their holiday than full year workers.

This judgement potentially affects any worker

who has a permanent employment contract and is

employed throughout the year but only actually works

for part of the year (such as term time workers); and any

worker who works irregular hours, whose holiday pay

entitlement has been calculated using the 12.07 percent

(or similar) multiplier.

If the Harpur Trust is granted leave to appeal to the

Supreme Court, and is successful, it is possible that the

pro-rata principle could be re-instated in terms of how

the entitlement to holiday and holiday pay under the

WTR is interpreted. It may be some time before this is

determined and in the meantime the Court of Appeal

decision is binding.

Any such claims will be brought

as unlawful deduction from

wages claims and need to be

brought within three months of

the last deduction.

STEPS EMPLOYERS SHOULD TAKE

Employers ought to assess which members of staff

are potentially caught by this decision. At the same

time, employers should consider whether contractual

arrangements could be changed for any new (and

potentially existing staff) if appropriate (i.e. through the

use of self-employed or fixed term temporary contracts).

The way in which holiday entitlement has been

calculated for all affected staff may have to be changed.

Staff will need to have 5.6 weeks leave rather than

pro-rating it, and where staff work irregular hours it is

likely to involve paying holiday based on the preceding

12 weeks’ average pay rather than at a flat rate of 12.07

percent.

It makes sense to quantify the risk of arrears claims

and determine a strategy in relation to these. Any such

claims will be brought as unlawful deduction from wages

claims and need to be brought within three months of

the last deduction. However, in accordance with current

UK legislation any claims brought after 8 July 2015 will

be limited to two years’ arrears for each member of staff

from the date of claim (although this backstop may in

itself be challenged as unlawful).

Gareth Edwards is a partner in the

employment team at Veale Wasbrough Vizards.

gedwards@vwv.co.uk

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 50


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COMMERCIAL CREDIT PROFESSIONALS

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ADVERTORIAL

A DAY IN THE LIFE

OF A LAW FIRM…

Law firms play a vital role in supporting companies’

credit management teams, providing legal muscle

when it’s needed.

LAW firms play a vital role

in supporting companies’

credit management teams,

providing legal muscle when

it’s needed.

So what’s life like working

in a law firm’s debt recovery team? We

spoke to some of the front-liners at UK

law firm Shoosmiths, which runs one of

the country’s largest B2B debt recovery

operations from three locations in its

13-office network – Solent, Edinburgh and

Belfast.

At Solent, the first idea to throw out

is any Dickensian impression of dry and

dusty ledgers and creaking staircases.

The Shoosmiths working environment is

high-tech, agile and open plan with floorto-ceiling

glass overlooking a lake on a

modern business park with swans and the

occasional deer roaming outside.

The team – consisting of experienced

lawyers, legal executives and paralegals

– share the same workspace. First thing

in the morning you’re likely to see them

chatting with colleagues over a latte in the

huge communal kitchen before setting up

their laptops (which are also their phones)

and getting on with work. It’s a buzzy and

friendly workplace.

The team is structured so they

work continuously on a small group

of client accounts, building up a good

understanding of the client’s business and

credit management function, and how

they in turn like to deal with their trade

suppliers.

“The key is to get a real understanding

of what the client wants to achieve,” says

Legal Advisor (and occasional football

referee) James Crascall, a qualified lawyer

and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of

Legal Executives (CILEX), who works in

Shoosmiths’ defended actions team.

James typically handles debt cases in the

£250,000 to £500,000 bracket that require

bespoke advice. “What clients want is the

benefit of your experience and the right

tactics to take with the law. It’s all about the

commerciality of the advice – clients won’t

generally want to push a point of legal

principle if that is going to cost them more

than the debt is worth. “

Shoosmiths’ debt recovery team, led by

Partner Paula Swain, is growing rapidly

and is attracting new talent all the time.

Abbigail Hobby and Maddison Kirby-West

joined Shoosmiths within a few weeks of

each other in 2017, and now each undertake

a paralegal role in the undefended actions

team.

Abbi joined Shoosmiths on an

apprenticeship scheme after her A-Levels

(one of the newer entry points to the legal

profession), which involves the law firm

helping to fund practical learning on the

job as well as qualifications via the CILEX

route.

She now works in a small team of three

for one of Shoosmiths’ largest clients

which regularly delivers 150-200 cases

every couple of weeks. The scale sounds

overwhelming, but she takes it in her stride

with impressive organisational skill.

The first task in the morning is sorting

out the overnight emails from debtors,

typically 30 or so. Shoosmiths has a

sophisticated case management system

that is updated to help prompt on key dates

– the technology is there as a tool to help

everything stay on track.

Then it’s down to Abbi to decide how

she makes the most of the working day.

“We have autonomy in how we organise

our day, and what to prioritise,” Abbi

explains. “Help is always on hand if you

need a steer, but many of us are studying

for CILEX or taking training the firm

provides, and generally we’re trusted to do

what’s needed.”

Working at Shoosmiths is Maddie’s first

job and she is combining her case handler

role with studying for Level 3 CILEX. She

loves the role.

“It’s a communications job we have in

essence,” she says. “Listening and framing

what you say to a debtor is really the core

skill and there is so much opportunity to

learn more about the legal process. I’m

always asking more experienced colleagues

‘why did you do that?’ to understand more.

“And there’s a really good team spirit

here. When a client emails Paula with good

feedback, it’s shared with the whole team

and gives everyone a smile.”

What do her friends think about her

career in debt recovery? “Most of them

have the wrong idea about it – that we are

on the phone all day saying ‘if you can’t pay,

we take it away!’” she laughs. “But it’s much

more personal and positive job than that,

and we don’t have anything like a script to

follow. Every call is different and what you

do makes a real difference to the outcome.”

Abbi agrees. “When you start out it can

seem scary to phone people who may get

defensive or even angry, but we are trained

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 52


ADVERTORIAL

“The key is to get a

real understanding

of what the client

wants to achieve.”

Maddison Kirby-West, Abbigail Hobby and James Crascall

and have experienced people to deal with.

It’s all about listening and relating to what

the debtor is saying and putting a positive

strategy together.

“Helping the debtor to see that there is

a solution, that the client is ready to look

at things like payment arrangements and

getting those set up and the debt reduced

over time – that’s what can be most satisfying

for me,” she adds. “You’re dealing with

intelligent people in business who are having

their own ups and downs. Finding a way

to relate to them, on their terms, is the real

skill you are developing.”

The same sense of having responsibility

and executing a job well is echoed by James.

“You’re working as part of a seamless team

with your client,” he says. “If they call you

at 1pm and say they have a meeting at 3pm

that day, you make a special detour to track

down the right answer and get back to them

by then. It’s a good feeling, they’re happy,

you’re happy.”

All the team members enjoy the variety

of the work, the autonomy they have and

the team camaraderie of life in a busy law

firm.

For Maddie it’s the combination of pace

and achievement. “I like it when everything’s

busy, everything’s humming along, we’re

working as a team and everything’s under

control.”

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 53


NEW AND UPGRADED MEMBERS

Do you know someone who would benefit from CICM membership? Or have

you considered applying to upgrade your membership? See our website

www.cicm.com/membership-types for more details, or call us on 01780 722903

Member

Angela Burrows MCICM Roberta Mossop MCICM Pamela Rose MCICM Philip Ross MCICM

Associate

Abimbola Fagade ACICM Joseph Okochi ACICM Louise Rossiter ACICM Laura Stainburn ACICM

Member by exam

Ian Ferris MCICM (Grad)

Finian Gardner MCICM (Grad)

Studying Member

Natalie Alvia-Lang

Sabrina Barker-Newton

Mark Bell

Amy Bennett

Uliana Brilliantova

Rosina Britain

Patrick Burns

Lisa Bustin

Ellen Cameron

Daniel Carnegie-Wilson

Nicola Cartwright

Matthew Chandler

Jake Clarke

Jordan Coltart

Louise Crump

Kalvinder Dhillon

Mhlabuhlangene Dlamini

Babita Dovedi

Colin Eames

Christian Farrugia

Jack Finch

Kirsty Galvin

Arnold Gama

Michelle Gayle

Lewis Gullefer

Elinor Harding

Niamh Harper

Trevor Henry

Luke Hickman

Karl Hurley

Marie-Solange Ikong Ehuy

Amy Johnson

Tamara Jones

Zoe Kibby

Katya Law

Stacie Lithgow-King

Kelly Long

Sarah Luke

Emma Lundholm

Claire Maliepaard

Vanessa Mambu

Carla Marrone

Oliver Marsden-Hill

Amy McDermott

Mfanzile Mdluli

Karen Moore

Christian Mouliere

Taurai Museka

Hayley Neale

Joanne Nixon

Dumisani Ntsinde

Kerry Parsons

Adam Phillips

Nthabiseng Phoofolo

Lucinda Pickering

John Regniez

Victoria Richardson

Keith Rimmer

Fiona Rodrigues

Sarah Rogers

Emma Rogers

Heather Rolls

Lee Sewell

Daniel Shepherd

Pavandeep Sittre

Lauren Strange

Lorette Turner

Craig Vernall

Jasmine West

Claire Wheeler

Rebecca Wright

Alona Zeneli

Affiliate

Alexandre Ballet

Nicola Bond

Tinus Buchner

Priscila Da Costa Palmeira

Glenn Kincaide

Dominka Krowicka

Zahra Lahgazi-Alaoui

Joe Mason

Mycaela McCarthy

Luke Mcquilliam

Andreas Mezere

Paulina Paprota

Sharad Ragvani

Charlotte Smith

Kathryn Taylor

Katie Taylor

Joseph Wright

Fellow

Martin Roseweir FCICM

Congratulations to our current members who have upgraded their membership

Upgraded member

Paul Bartlett FCICM

Mohamed Foudi MCICM

WE WANT YOUR NEWS!

Get in touch with Andrew Morris by emailing

andrew.morris@cicm.com with your branch

news and event reports. Please only send up

to 400 words and any images need to be high

resolution to be printable, so 1MB plus.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 54


CICM NORTH EAST BRANCH

Christmas Quiz

Wednesday 4 December 2019

18:15-21:15

Yes, it’s back and this time we’re

going large with a change of venue

to St James’ Park in Newcastle.

FREE TO

ENTER WITH

COMPLIMENTARY

FOOD AND

WELCOME

DRINKS.

Your chance to have a go at our free

to enter, hotly-contested Christmas

Quiz, enjoy complimentary food and

welcome drink, win fabulous prizes

(including money can’t buy), no one

leaves empty-handed. Can you and

your team bag the bragging rights

and topple our reigning champions

‘Northumbria University-

Challenged’? Teams of up to eight,

non CICM members welcome – we

always have a great mix of industry

sector or line of business.

The event is kindly jointly

sponsored by Sintons LLP's Debt

Recovery team (Northern Law

Awards Law Firm of the Year 2019)

and Manolete Partners PLC, who are

market leading specialist insolvency

litigation funders and purchasers of

insolvency litigation claims.

Venue

Nine Bar, St. James’ Park

(Newcastle United F.C.),

Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4ST.

Book Now

Book online www.cicm.com/branches/

or email branches@cicm.com for more

information call 01780 722900

CICM SOUTH WALES BRANCH

Annual Bowling

Challenge

Tuesday 3 December 2019

18:30-22:00

FREE EVENT

It’s right up your alley

So on Tuesday 3 December members

of the South Wales branch will

be assembled at The Red Dragon

Centre, Hemingway Rd, Cardiff

CF10 4JY for our annual bowling

competition.

The current champion is our Branch

Vice Chair, Steve White MCICM from

Thornbury Collections, so who’ll

step up and take his crown this

year?

It’s a great social event, with the

bowling including food and drinks,

2 games of bowling, photos and a

trophy.

We aim to meet up from 18:30 and

the lane is booked for us at 19:00.

Be great to see you there, in fact

we’ll be bowled over.

Venue

The Red Dragon Centre,

Hemingway Rd, Cardiff

CF10 4JY

Book Now

Book online www.cicm.com/branches/

or email branches@cicm.com for more

information call 01780 722900

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 55


It is like in the

early days of debt

purchase when you

have to build trust

and understanding

with the creditors

and debt owners.

Andrew Birkwood FCICM CEO Azzurro Associates

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 56


TOWN AND COUNTRY

BLUE SKY THINKING

The purchase of commercial debts is gaining traction.

AUTHOR – Sean Feast FCICM

MOST in the credit

industry are familiar

with the concept of

debt purchase. It is

big business, with

major, established

players dominating a multi-billion-pound

industry. But whereas the acquisition

of large, consumer debt portfolios is

de rigeur, the acquisition of portfolios

of delinquent commercial debt is not

so common. Indeed, the market is so

embryonic as to be little more than a glint

in the milkman’s eye.

Commercial debts have, of course, been

sold in the past, though these have tended

to be a tranche of small commercial

bundled within a much larger portfolio

of consumer accounts. It is far less typical

for a business to actively seek to buy a

commercial portfolio in isolation.

That’s not to say there aren’t those

out there who are trying. What they are

finding, however, are many of the same

barriers to entry that affected the early

consumer debt buyers, not least the issue

of ‘reputational risk’. A business that sells

its debt to a third party will doubtless be

concerned of the impact that third party

will have on its reputation if something

goes wrong or a complaint is made. The

relationship and dynamic between one

business to another is different to that of

a creditor and a consumer. Despite the

old adage that the only good customer

is a paying customer, businesses are still

reluctant to surrender that relationship to

a third party.

One that could be said to be breaking

the mould, however, is Azzurro Associates,

led by CEO Andrew Birkwood FCICM.

Andrew, a familiar face and name within

credit industry and former Director of

the Credit Services Association (CSA), is

of course no stranger to debt purchase,

having been Chief Investment Officer for

Arrow Global until launching Azzurro in

2017.

TRANSPARENCY AND INNOVATION

His ambition with Azzurro (the name

is partly taken from the concept of

‘Blue Sky Thinking’ is to bring the same

levels of transparency, innovation and

compliant customer approach as seen

in the consumer credit sector, to the

commercial debt market. His intention

is to build a leading buyer of commercial

non-performing receivables across the

UK and continental Europe through the

creation of long-standing partnerships

with creditors and servicers.

Initially, Andrew has been buying

portfolios of B2B receivables from high

volume SME industries such as energy

and DIY. Azzurro is also purchasing delinquent

commercial debts (merchant

advances) on a monthly basis in a ‘forward

flow’ transaction. But it is certainly

a challenge: “I did perhaps underestimate

the reputational risk that businesses perceive,”

he admits,

“and so the process

has taken longer than

expected. It is like in

the early days of debt

purchase when you

have to build trust

and understanding

with the creditors and

debt owners. It is an

education process.”

Part of the problem,

ironically, is the lack of any competition:

“Without any competition or established

market, there is no reference point

to compare us against,” he explains. “In

the consumer space it is a mature market,

but at the moment we are still building

awareness.”

What is interesting, from talking to

Andrew, is that the debt that he does buy

tends to range from comparatively ‘fresh’

to up to six-years delinquent: “Certainly

once the legacy aged stock is cleared then

the debt sold to us every month/quarter

can be relatively new. Perhaps that is not

surprising as a commercial debt that goes

bad is more likely to end in insolvency

than a consumer debt, and so there is

more urgency around its collection. It

also presents some interesting challenges

when it comes to data, especially when

it comes to sole traders and non-limited

companies.”

Arguably the longer lead times and

lengthier decision-making processes

has prompted Andrew and his team,

which include Chief Operating Officer

and Fellow of the CICM Karen Savage, to

innovate. They are currently developing a

new online portal that will enable smaller

businesses to sell delinquent debts, either

singularly (depending on its size) or in a

tranche: “They upload the details of the

debt, and we come back- with pricing and

“In the consumer

space it is a mature

market, but at

the moment we

are still building

awareness.”

a contract based on the same factors we

would use to price any portfolio. It gives

businesses an option they’ve not had

before, rather than simply writing the

debt off, and can therefore benefit their

cashflow.”

LITIGATION FINANCE

A further innovation is the launch of a

Litigation Finance service where the cost

of litigation is borne by Azzurro: “We

provide the finance to make it happen,”

he explains. “It is non-recourse so entirely

contingent, and we

get paid a percentage

of what is recovered.

It is effectively a debt

collection approach

to actively managing

your book on a legal

basis. We can also be

very flexible, either

using our own legal

team or working

alongside a client’s

in-house team, whichever they prefer.

Either way, given that we are taking the

cost of litigation away, we are seeing good

engagement across the credit industry.”

Flexibility, Andrew says, is key,

especially as the economy starts to

decline and businesses see debt sale

as a good way of improving liquidity.

Alongside the launch of the new portal,

Andrew is also working with leading Credit

Reference Agencies (CRAs) to develop

commercial scoring models to further

improve pricing accuracy, understanding

and segmentation. “Building on

our partnership ethos, we intend to

share these scoring models with our

creditor partners to aid their credit

management processes. We have built

a strong decision science team to work

with CRAs and other data providers

in building predictive models to aid

customer segmentation. In line with our

transparent approach, we share all data

and practices as a default.”

Regulated both in the UK and the

Netherlands, Andrew’s ambitions are not

limited to the shores of the UK, and he

is happy to engage further afield. Closer

relationships with IPs and credit insurers

are also likely to emerge as the amount of

delinquent debt increases. But Andrew is

in it for the long term: “I have learned to

be patient,” he laughs.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 57


BRANCH NEWS

Investigations, insolvencies

and dodgy directors

Sheffield and District Branch

JOHN Paul Sugden from

Auker Rhodes and Rob Sadler

from Sadlers gave an extremely

interesting and informative

presentation on Insolvency matters

to CICM Sheffield Branch

on 5 September.

John Paul walked us through the

legislative evolution of insolvency law

adding that ‘anyone can report a director

for unfit conduct’ although it is the duty

of the insolvency profession to submit a

‘D’ report on any ‘unfit’ directors although

no conduct report is necessary for CVAs.

Further to an investigation, a director

can submit a disqualification undertaking

but usually only if they are not interested

in being a director again. However,

directors do not always respond to Official

Receiver (OR) requests for information

and the latest process investigations often

do not lead to disqualifications. John

Paul highlighted that an unfit conduct ‘D’

report is probably submitted for 60 percent

of all insolvencies but disappointingly

disqualifications remain rare.

Rob then discussed the latest

legislation impacting in April 2020 with

the HMRC regaining preferential status

for the first time since 2003.

Rob went on to discuss the current

insolvency regime that was introduced

in April 2017 and the difficulties of

investigating directors’ actions and gaining

information from creditors, historically

done through creditor meetings.

Telephone meetings can be ‘hit and miss’

with different parties interrupting and

not really knowing who is on the other

end of the line. Physical meetings can be

arranged (10 percent of value or number)

but generally creditor involvement is now

considerably less, harder to convene and

now lacking the ‘theatre’ of old. HMRC

now only tends to show an interest in high

value cases. Rob highlighted that further

information could be found at https://

sadlers.ltd/.

John Paul and Rob then went on to

highlight their experience of previous

‘dodgy’ director transactions including

a cheque for £500,000 being endorsed

into a director’s personal bank account.

They also recalled another story related

to machinery moved out of a warehouse

and thanks to an eagle-eyed client the

‘missing’ machinery was found in an

associated warehouse. Other examples

included directors paying family members

large ‘termination’ packages just before

insolvency and paying shareholders

large dividends after the declaration of

administration intent.

Further to requests from the audience,

John Paul and Rob then explained some of

the peculiarities of football insolvencies

with Rob having some personal experience

of the fans’ emotional involvement. All in

all, this was an excellent and informative

evening enjoyed by an engaging crowd.

Author: Simon Johnson

An evening at the

Spinnaker Tower

Wessex Branch

WE were delighted to welcome so many

members and guests to an evening event

at the iconic Spinnaker Tower overlooking

the Solent.

The evening of networking included

guest speakers Nigel Linger talking the

audience through Portsmouth’s history

starting with July 1545 in the battle of

the Solent, as Henry VIII looked on from

Southsea seafront as the Mary Rose was

sunk, through to more ‘modern’ days of

sending the first convicts to Australia in

1787.

This was followed by Philip King

FCICM reminding us that late payment

continues to be a major problem for small

businesses. He highlighted government

initiatives such as publishing the names

of those suspended from the Prompt

Payment Code and allowing those

companies that have defaulted time to put

their house in order.

Philip also emphasised the importance

of educating small businesses on getting

contracts right from the start and

understanding the implications of the

T&Cs, which will enable small business

owners to help themselves.

It was a great evening and our thanks

go to Thames Valley Branch for its help

and our sponsors Chilworth Partnership,

Blake Morgan Solicitors, Chris Sanders

Consulting and Srixon/Cleveland Sports.

Author: Brenda Linger FCICM

Full name:

Lorna Westgarth-Pearce.

Current job title:

Credit Manager.

Current company name:

Liberty Wines.

Years in credit management: 15 Years.

Number of years in current role:

Three months.

How did you get into credit management?

I started out as an accounts assistant.

Credit control was part of the role and I

have loved it ever since.

What is the best thing about where

you work?

My amazing team. They all have an

exceptional work ethic.

What motivates you?

Being a good role model and leading by

example.

What skill do you think has helped you

most in your credit career so far?

Excellent communication skills and my

determination to succeed.

Name three people you would invite to a

dinner party and why?

Noel Fitzpatrick, David Walliams and

Tom Hardy.

What is your favourite pastime/

relaxation activity?

Horse riding.

What is the best/worst quality in a

leader?

Positivity is the best, negativity the

worst.

Who is your business or personal hero?

Tony Walledge for being a fantastic

mentor over the years. I can always trust

his advice.

What can't you live without?

My family and horses.

What’s been your most rewarding

moment in your credit career?

Watching my team flourish and succeed.

What has surprised you the most about

working in credit?

People underestimating the importance

of a credit function!

If you weren’t working in credit

management, what would you be doing?

Working with animals.

Where do you see your career in five

years’ time?

I would like to achieve another CICM

accreditation as it is so rewarding.

What is the career or professional

achievement you are most proud of?

Achieving my CICM accreditation.

60SECONDS

WITH

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / September 2019 / PAGE 58


www.tcmgroup.com

Probably thebest debt collection networkworldwide

Money knows no borders—neither do we

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 59


WHAT'S ON

A full list of events can be found on our website

We are inviting all members to bring a colleague to a CICM membership event,

free of charge. Book online on our website www.cicm.com/cicm-events

CICM EVENT

5 November

5

CICM East of England and

Kent Branch

London

Developing Credit in a Changing Workplace

Hosted by Goodman Masson.

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events or

email events@cicm.com for more information.

Venue: Goodman Masson, 120 Aldersgate Street,

London, EC1A 4JQ

CPD

CICM EVENT

CICM EVENT

CICM EVENT

8 November

CICM Turner Lecture 2019

London

Held at the Law Society, London where we will be

hosting a mock trial on a question of liability and

authority – Our members say this is a common

problem they face almost on a daily basis and

naturally want to know where they stand.

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events or

email events@cicm.com for more information.

Venue: The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane,

London, WC2A 1PL

13 November

2

Mindset Key for a Digital Change

Rotherham

Guest speaker Brian Morgan, Director at

Rimilia, will give us a unique insight into digital

transformation and continuous improvement

through artificial intelligence.

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events or

email events@cicm.com for more information.

Venue: AMP Technology Centre

Advanced Manufacturing Park, Brunel Way,

Catcliffe, Rotherham, S60 5WG

CPD

3 December

CICM South Wales –

Cardiff

Annual Bowling Challenge

So on Tuesday 3 December members of the South

Wales branch will be assembled for our annual

bowling competition. The current champion is

our Branch Vice Chair, Steve White MCICM from

Thornbury Collections, so who’ll step up and take

his crown this year? Book online at www.cicm.

com/cicm-events or email events@cicm.com for

more information. Venue: The Red Dragon Centre,

Hemingway Rd, Cardiff, CF10 4JY

CICM EVENT

CICM EVENT

19 November

CPD

6

CICM Northern Ireland Branch

Ireland

All Ireland Credit Focus 2020 Conference. This is

a full day event which will focus on the most

up-to-date and the best practice in Credit

Management, drawing on the expertise of our

guest speakers from banking, law, insolvency,

training and recruitment sectors to name just a

few. Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events or

email events@cicm.com for more information.

Venue: City North Hotel, Gormanstown, Co. Meath

K32 W562 Ireland

4 December

CICM North East Branch

Newcastle upon Tyne

Christmas Quiz 2019

Yes, it’s back and this time we’re going large

with a change of venue to St James’ Park in

Newcastle. Your chance to have a go at our free

to enter, hotly-contested Christmas Quiz, enjoy

complimentary food and welcome drink,

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events or

email events@cicm.com for more information.

Venue: Nine Bar, St James’ Park,

Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4ST

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / September 2019 / PAGE 60


More reasons to be a member

Make connections and keep up-to-date

with our exclusive events.

INDUSTRY EVENTS

6 November

HAYS WEBINAR

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION REPORT

ONLINE

Join us as we present the findings from this year’s

Hays Diversity & Inclusion Report.

Presenters: Kabir Gulabkhan, Senior Manager,

Hays Credit Management

12 November

Forums International

Nottingham

Business & Office Supplies

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events or

email events@cicm.com for more information.

Email bsf@forumsinternational.co.uk

Venue: Nottingham

21 November

Credit Risk Forums

London

Cosmetics & Fragrances

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events

or email events@cicm.com for more information.

Venue: London

CICM Members will

receive a 10 percent

discount upon

registration – please

quote ‘CICM’ when you

register to secure this.

14 November

Credit Risk Forums

Birmingham

Home Enhancements & DIY Credit Risk Forum

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events

or email events@cicm.com for more information.

Email brent.cumming@letstalkcredit.co.uk

Venue: Birmingham

18-19 November

AMLP Forum

13th Annual European AML and Financial

Crime Conference

London

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events

or email events@cicm.com for more information.

Venue: London

27 November

Shoosmiths

Belfast

Celebrating our new home.

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events

or email events@cicm.com for more information.

Venue: Shoosmiths Belfast

2-10 East Bridge Street, Belfast, BT1 3NQ

19 November

Credit Risk Forums

Derby

Construction

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events

or email events@cicm.com for more information.

Email brent.cumming@letstalkcredit.co.uk

Venue: Derby

20 November

Credit Risk Forums

London

Fashion

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events

or email events@cicm.com for more information.

Venue: London

5-6 December

Forums International

London

International Telecoms Risk Forum

Book online at www.cicm.com/cicm-events or

email events@cicm.com for more information.

Email itrf@forumsinternational.co.uk

Venue: London

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / September 2019 / PAGE 61


TAKE CONTROL OF

YOUR CREDIT CAREER

HEAD OF CREDIT RISK

AND BRAND REPRESENTATION

OVERSEE CREDIT FUNCTION

London, up to £78,000

A lucrative opportunity has arisen at a global luxury

cosmetic brand based in London. In this 12-18 month

contract, you will be responsible for enforcing company

credit and collections policies, evaluating credit risk,

maximising cash flow and reducing exposure to write

offs and bad debts. Other responsibilities include risk

assessment with regards to security issues and theft of

products. You will also work with brand representation

and protection of rights in relation to grey market and

unauthorised distribution issues. To be successful, you

will have a strong retail background, be MCICM qualified

and have overseen over £100 million of collections.

Ref: 3685175

Contact James Hanwell on 020 3465 0020

or email james.hanwell@hays.com

SENIOR CREDIT CONTROLLER

DRIVE PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS

High Wycombe, up to £30,000 DOE + study support

With a modern, attractive and vibrant office, your new

company is established, highly-respected and operates

globally in a dynamic and exciting market. After a

restructure of the Finance team, it is looking for a senior

credit controller to take sole ownership of its credit

function. Working closely with Finance, you will identify

and drive process improvements to maintain DSO

within targets. You will have excellent experience in

all aspects of credit control including inter-company

and multi-currency. You will also have experience or

qualifications in finance and be looking to progress and

possibly undertake study. Ref: 3661427

CREDIT CONTROLLER

SPECIALISE OVER THE NORDIC MARKET

London, up to £35,000

Servicing customers all over the Scandinavian region and

being a staple company domestically, a rare opportunity

has arisen at an established FMCG/retail business for

a highly motivated individual. With a strong emphasis

on collections of debt across specific countries, you will

be expected to be fluent in either Swedish, Norwegian

or Danish. Focusing on maximising the profitability of

collections and minimising exposure to risk, you will deal

with projects across various teams within the business,

finding ways to implement new procedures and help

introduce new processes and procedures to improve the

debt collection. This is a fantastic opportunity where you

can achieve results and be rewarded accordingly.

Ref: 3643944

Contact Akshay Caussy on 020 3465 0020

or email akshay.caussy@hays.com

SENIOR CREDIT CONTROLLER

PROGRESS YOUR CAREER

Solihull, £25,000-£30,000 + study support CICM

A UK market leader in the hospitality and beverage

sector is looking for an experienced credit professional

to join its team in a newly created role. As senior credit

controller, you will support the Credit Management

Team with escalations and reports for key clients and

develop and train new staff members. This is a fantastic

opportunity where you can progress your career, with

potential of becoming a credit manager.

Ref: 3643951

Contact Peter Kidd on 0121 212 1814

or email peter.kidd@hays.com

Contact Caroline Evans on 01494 419740

or email caroline.evans@hays.com

hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 62


COLLECTIONS SPECIALIST

JOIN A RAPIDLY EXPANDING BUSINESS

Hammersmith, £24,000-£27,000

Due to international expansion of the company, there is an

exciting opportunity for a collections specialist to join its

team. You will be responsible for the timely collection of

payments from customers, taking payments over the phone,

negotiating repayment plans when necessary and assisting

the Team Leader to implement suitable and effective

processes for the newly created team. Previous experience

working with business to consumer customers is essential

and fluency in one or more of the Nordic languages as well

as English, would be highly advantageous. Ref: 3643944

Contact Julia Foster on 020 3465 0020

or email julia.foster2@hays.com

CREDIT CONTROLLER

REACH A RESOLUTION

Glasgow, £21,000 + bonus + free parking

Based in Glasgow city centre, this organisation is looking

for a credit controller to join its accounting team. Reporting

into the Credit Team Manager, you will be responsible

for a mix of high value and high-volume collections via

telephone and email, evaluating new credit requests and

reviewing credit limits, liaising with customers around

queries, reconciliations of ledgers and producing sales

invoices and monthly statements. As a confident and

proactive individual, you will have excellent credit control

and accounts receivable knowledge. Working in a

fast-paced team, you will be a team player who can

work efficiently on your own initiative. Ref: 3687009

Contact Lauren Hamilton on 0141 212 3665

or email lauren.hamilton@hays.com

ORDER TO CASH ASSOCIATE

PROGRESSIVE ROLE WITHIN A NEW SSC

Basingstoke, £23,000 + bonus + benefits

+ CICM study support

You will be joining a leading, globally recognised

organisation during an exciting period of transformation.

Working as part of the new order to cash team, your duties

will include accurate billing, credit risk assessment, cash

collection, payment allocation and account reconciliation.

To be successful, you will be a driven individual with some

credit control or accounts receivable experience who is

keen to progress their career within credit.

Ref: 13143151

Contact Natascha Whitehead on 07770 786433

or email natascha.whitehead@hays.com

CREDIT CONTROLLER

THE FUTURE OF CREDIT CONTROL

New Malden, £13.85 per hour

Hays Credit Management have several exciting

opportunities for skilled credit controllers to join its

professional credit team at the shared service centre.

These roles are on-going, temporary assignments with a

minimum of three months’ work. You will be a passionate,

resilient, forward-thinking credit professional with sound

experience in reducing aged debt and cash collection.

This is a fantastic opportunity where you can achieve

results and be rewarded accordingly.

Ref: 3598639

Contact Mark Ordoña on 020 8247 4042

or email mark.ordona@hays.com

This is just a small selection of the many

opportunities we have available for credit

professionals. To find out more email

hayscicm@hays.com or visit us online.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 63


Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

COLLECTIONS

INTERNATIONAL COLLECTIONS

COLLECTIONS LEGAL

Controlaccount Plc

Address: Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road,

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4FD

T: 01527 549 522

E: sales@controlaccount.com

W: www.controlaccount.com

Controlaccount Plc provides an efficient, effective and ethical

commercial debt recovery service focused on improving business

cash flow whilst preserving customer relationships and established

reputations. Working with leading brand names in the UK and

internationally, we deliver a bespoke service to our clients. We offer

a no collect, no fee service without any contractual ties in. Where

applicable, we can utilise the Late Payment of Commercial Debts

Act (2013) to help you redress the cost of collection. Our clients

also benefit from our in-house international trace and legal counsel

departments and have complete transparency and up to the minute

information on any accounts placed with us for recovery through our

online debt management system, ClientWeb.

INTERNATIONAL COLLECTIONS

Baker Ing International Limited

Office 7, 35-37 Ludgate Hill, London. EC4M 7JN

Contact: Lisa Baker-Reynolds

Email: lisa@bakering.global

Website: https://www.bakering.global/contact/

Tel: 07717 020659

Baker Ing International is a dedicated team of Credit industry

experience that, combined, covers time served in most industries.

The team is wholly comprised of working Credit Manager’s across

the Globe with a minimum threshold of ten years working experience

within Credit Management. The team offers a comprehensive

service to clients - International Debt Recovery, Credit Control, Legal

Services & more

Our mission is to help companies improve the cost and efficiency

of their Credit Management processes in order to limit the risks

associated with extending credit and trading around the globe.

How can we help you - call Lisa Baker Reynolds on

+44(0)7717 020659 or email lisa@bakering.global

COLLECTIONS LEGAL

Yuill + Kyle

Capella, 60 York Street, Glasgow, G2 8JX, Scotland, UK

T: 0141 572 4251

E: scowan@yuill-kyle.co.uk

W: www.debtscotland.com

Do You Have Trouble Collecting Debts in

Scotland? We Don’t

Yuill + Kyle is one of Scotland’s leading debt recovery and credit

control law firms. With over 100 years of experience, we are

specialists in resolving disputed and undisputed debts. Our track

record for successful recoveries means you have just moved one step

closer to getting your money back.

How we can help you:

• Specialist advice for all of your legal matters

• A responsive and straightforward approach

• Providing you with solutions-driven advice

• Delivering cost certainty and value for money

Our services

• Pre-sue • Fast track collections • Judgement enforcement

• Insolvency • Bankruptcy • Liquidation

CONSULTANCY

Atradius Collections Ltd

3 Harbour Drive,

Capital Waterside,

Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF10 4WZ

United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)2920 824700

W: www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/

Atradius Collections Ltd is an established specialist in business

to business collections. As the collections division of the Atradius

Crédito y Caución, we have a strong position sharing history,

knowledge and reputation.

Annually handling more than 110,000 cases and recovering over

a billion EUROs in collections at any one time, we deliver when

it comes to collecting outstanding debts. With over 90 years’

experience, we have an in-depth understanding of the importance of

maintaining customer relationships whilst efficiently and effectively

collecting monies owed.

The individual nature of our clients’ customer relationships is

reflected in the customer focus we provide, structuring our service

to meet your specific needs. We work closely with clients to provide

them with a collection strategy that echoes their business character,

trading patterns and budget.

For further information contact: Oliver Collis, Business

Development Manager UK E: oliver.collis@atradius.com

Blaser Mills Law

40 Oxford Road,

High Wycombe,

Buckinghamshire. HP11 2EE

T: 01494 478660

E: Jackie Ray jar@blasermills.co.uk

W: www.blasermills.co.uk

A full-service firm, Blaser Mills Law’s experienced Commercial

Recoveries team offer pre-legal collections, debt recovery,

litigation, dispute resolution and insolvency. The team includes

CICM qualified staff, recommended in both Legal 500 and

Chambers & Partners legal directories.

Offices in High Wycombe, Amersham, Rickmansworth, London

and Silverstone

Sanders Consulting Associates Ltd

T: +44(0)1525 720226

E: enquiries@chrissandersconsulting.com

W: www.chrissandersconsulting.com

Sanders Consulting is an independent niche consulting firm

specialising in leadership and performance improvement in all aspects

of the order to cash process. Chris Sanders FCICM, the principal, is

well known in the industry with a wealth of experience in operational

credit management, billing, change and business process improvement.

A sought after speaker with cross industry international experience in

the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets, his

innovative and enthusiastic approach delivers pragmatic people and

process lead solutions and significant working capital improvements to

clients. Sanders Consulting are proud to manage CICMQ on behalf of

and under the supervision of the CICM.

Premium Collections Limited

3 Caidan House, Canal Road

Timperley, Cheshire. WA14 1TD

T: +44 (0)161 962 4695

E: paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk

W: www.premiumcollections.co.uk

For all your credit management requirements Premium Collections

has the solution to suit you. Operating on a national and international

basis we can tailor a package of products and services to meet your

requirements.

Services include B2B collections, B2C collections, international

collections, absconder tracing, asset repossessions, status reporting

and litigation support.

Managed from our offices in Manchester, Harrogate and Dublin our

network of 55 partners cover the World.

Contact Paul Daine FCICM on +44 (0)161 962 4695 or

paul.daine@premiumcollections.co.uk

www.premiumcollections.co.uk

Lovetts Solicitors

Lovetts, Bramley House, The Guildway,

Old Portsmouth Road,

Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR

T: 01483 347001

E: info@lovetts.co.uk

W: www.lovetts.co.uk

With more than 25yrs experience in UK & international business debt

collection and recovery, Lovetts Solicitors collects £40m+ every year

on behalf of our clients. Services include:

• Letters Before Action (LBA) from £1.50 + VAT (successful in 86%

of cases)

• Advice and dispute resolution

• Legal proceedings and enforcement

• 24/7 access to your cases via our in-house software solution,

CaseManager

Don’t just take our word for it, here’s some recent customer feedback:

“All our service expectations have been exceeded. The online

system is particularly useful and extremely easy to use. Lovetts has a

recognisable brand that generates successful results.”

COURT ENFORCEMENT SERVICES

Court Enforcement Services

Wayne Whitford – Director

M: +44 (0)7834 748 183 T : +44 (0)1992 663 399

E : wayne@courtenforcementservices.co.uk

W: www.courtenforcementservices.co.uk

High Court Enforcement that will Empower You!

We help law firms and in-house debt recovery and legal teams to

enforce CCJs by transferring them up to the High Court. Setting us

apart in the industry, our unique and Award Winning Field Agent App

helps to provide information in real time and transparency, empowering

our clients when they work with us.

• Free Transfer up process of CCJ’s to High Court

• Exceptional Recovery Rates

• Individual Client Attention and Tailored Solutions

• Real Time Client Access to Cases

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 64


FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION OPTIONS AND PRICING CONTACT

russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937

CREDIT INFORMATION

CREDIT INFORMATION

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

CoCredo

Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Bucks, HP16 0BD

T: 01494 790600

E: customerservice@cocredo.com

W: www.cocredo.co.uk

CoCredo’s award winning credit reporting and monitoring systems have

helped to protect over £27 billion of turnover on behalf of our customers.

Our company data is updated continually throughout the day and access

to the online portal is available 365 days a year 24/7.

At CoCredo we aggregate data from a range of leading providers in

the UK and across the globe so that our customers can view the best

available data in an easy to read report. We offer customers XML

Integration and D.N.A Portfolio Management as well as an industry-first

Dual Report, comparing two leading providers opinions in one report.

Company Watch

Centurion House, 37 Jewry Street,

LONDON. EC3N 2ER

T: +44 (0)20 7043 3300

E: info@companywatch.net

W: www.companywatch.net

Organisations around the world rely on Company Watch’s industryleading

financial analytics to drive their credit risk processes. Our

financial risk modelling and ability to map medium to long-term risk as

well as short-term credit risk set us apart from other credit reference

agencies.

Quality and rigour run through everything we do, from our unique

method of assessing corporate financial health via our H-Score®, to

developing analytics on our customers’ in-house data.

With the H-Score® predicting almost 90 percent of corporate

insolvencies in advance, it is the risk management tool of choice,

providing actionable intelligence in an uncertain world.

Graydon UK

66 College Road, 2nd Floor, Hygeia Building, Harrow,

Middlesex, HA1 1BE

T: +44 (0)208 515 1400

E: customerservices@graydon.co.uk

W: www.graydon.co.uk

With 130+ years of experience, Graydon is a leading provider of

business information, analytics, insights and solutions. Graydon

helps its customers to make fast, accurate decisions, enabling them

to minimise risk and identify fraud as well as optimise opportunities

with their commercial relationships. Graydon uses 130+ international

databases and the information of 90+ million companies. Graydon

has offices in London, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Antwerp. Since 2016,

Graydon has been part of Atradius, one of the world’s largest credit

insurance companies.

THE ONLY AML RESOURCE YOU NEED

SmartSearch

SmartSearch, Harman House,

Station Road,Guiseley, Leeds, LS20 8BX

T: +44 (0)113 238 7660

E: info@smartsearchuk.com W: www.smartsearchuk.com

KYC, AML and CDD all rely on a combination of deep data with broad

coverage, highly automated flexible technology with an innovative

and intuitive customer interface. Key features include automatic

Worldwide Sanction & PEP checking, Daily Monitoring, Automated

Enhanced Due Diligence and pro-active customer management.

Choose SmartSearch as your benchmark.

CEDAR

ROSE

R

Cedar Rose

3, Georgiou Katsonotou Street,3036, Limassol, Cyprus

E: info@cedar-rose.com T: +357 25346630

W: www.cedar-rose.com

Cedar Rose has been globally recognised as the expert for

credit reports, due diligence and data for the Middle East

and North African countries since 1997. We now cover over

170 countries with the same high quality, expert analysis

and attention to detail we are well-known and trusted for.

Making best use of artificial intelligence and technology, Cedar

Rose has won several awards including Credit Excellence

& European Business Awards. Our website is a one-stopshop

for your business intelligence solutions. We are the

ultimate source; with competitive prices and friendly customer

service - whether you need one or one thousand reports.

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

ONGUARD

T: +31 (0)88 256 66 66

E: ruurd.bakker@onguard.com

W: www.onguard.com

Onguard is specialist in credit management software and market

leader in innovative solutions for order to cash. Our integrated

platform ensures an optimal connection of all processes in the order

to cash chain and allows sharing of critical data.

Intelligent tools that can seamlessly be interconnected and offer

overview and control of the payment process, as well as contribute to

a sustainable customer relationship.

In more than 50 countries the Onguard platform is successfully used

for successful credit management.

Tinubu Square UK

Holland House, 4 Bury Street,

London EC3A 5AW

T: +44 (0)207 469 2577 /

E: uksales@tinubu.com

W: www.tinubu.com

Founded in 2000, Tinubu Square is a software vendor, enabler of the

Credit Insurance, Surety and Trade Finance digital transformation.

Tinubu Square enables organizations across the world to significantly

reduce their exposure to risk and their financial, operational and technical

costs with best-in-class technology solutions and services. Tinubu

Square provides SaaS solutions and services to different businesses

including credit insurers, receivables financing organizations and

multinational corporations.

Tinubu Square has built an ecosystem of customers in over 20 countries

worldwide and has a global presence with offices in Paris, London, New

York, Montreal and Singapore.

Credica Ltd

Building 168, Maxell Avenue, Harwell Oxford, Oxon. OX11 0QT

T: 01235 856400E: info@credica.co.uk W: www.credica.co.uk

Our highly configurable and extremely cost effective Collections and

Query Management System has been designed with 3 goals in mind:

• To improve your cashflow • To reduce your cost to collect

• To provide meaningful analysis of your business

Evolving over 15 years and driven by the input of 1000s of Credit

Professionals across the UK and Europe, our system is successfully

providing significant and measurable benefits for our diverse portfolio

of clients.

We would love to hear from you if you feel you would benefit from our

‘no nonsense’ and human approach to computer software.

Data Interconnect Ltd

Units 45-50

Shrivenham Hundred Business Park

Majors Road, Watchfield

Swindon, SN6 8TZ

T: +44 (0)1367 245777

E: sales@datainterconnect.co.uk

W: www.datainterconnect.com

Data Interconnect provides Intelligent Invoice to Cash Automation.

Corrivo Billing, Collection and Dispute modules seamlessly integrate

for a rich, end-to-end A/R user experience. Branded customer

portals, real-time dashboards, advanced reporting, available in 15

languages as standard; are some of the reason why global brands

choose Data Interconnect.

Proud supporters

of CICMQ

Rimilia

Corbett House, Westonhall Road, Bromsgrove, B60 4AL

T: +44 (0)1527 872123 E: enquiries@rimilia.com

W: www.rimilia.com

Operating globally across any sector, Rimilia provides intelligent,

finance automation solutions that enable customers to get paid on time

and control their cashflow and cash collection in real time. Rimilia’s

software solutions use sophisticated analytics and artificial intelligence

(AI) to predict customer payment behaviour and easily match and

reconcile payments, removing the uncertainty of cash collection. The

Rimilia software automates the complete accounts receivable process

and eliminates unallocated cash, reducing manual activity by an

average 70% and achieving best in class matching rates recognised

by industry specialists such as The Hackett Group.

HighRadius

T: +44 7399 406889

E: gwyn.roberts@highradius.com

W: www.highradius.com

HighRadius is the leading provider of Integrated Receivables

solutions for automating receivables and payment functions such

as credit, collections, cash allocation, deductions and eBilling.

The Integrated Receivables suite is delivered as a software-as-aservice

(SaaS). HighRadius also offers SAP-certified Accelerators

for SAP S/4HANA Finance Receivables Management, enabling

large enterprises to maximize the value of their SAP investments.

HighRadius Integrated Receivables solutions have a proven track

record of reducing days sales outstanding (DSO), bad-debt and

increasing operation efficiency, enabling companies to achieve an

ROI in less than a year.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 65 continues on page 66 >


Cr£ditWho?

CICM Directory of Services

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION

OPTIONS AND PRICING CONTACT

russell@cabbells.uk 0203 603 7937

CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

DATA AND ANALYTICS

LEGAL

SERRALA

Serrala UK Ltd, 125 Wharfdale Road

Winnersh Triangle, Wokingham

Berkshire RG41 5RB

E: r.hammons@serrala.com W: www.serrala.com

T +44 118 207 0450 M +44 7788 564722

Serrala optimizes the Universe of Payments for organisations seeking

efficient cash visibility and secure financial processes. As an SAP

Partner, Serrala supports over 3,500 companies worldwide. With

more than 30 years of experience and thousands of successful

customer projects, including solutions for the entire order-tocash

process, Serrala provides credit managers and receivables

professionals with the solutions they need to successfully protect

their business against credit risk exposure and bad debt loss.

identeco – Business Support Toolkit

Compass House, Waterside, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove,

Worcestershire B60 4FD

Telephone: 01527 549 531 Email: info@identeco.co.uk

Web: www.identeco.co.uk

identeco’s Business Support Toolkit is an online portal connecting

its subscribers to a range of business services that help them to

engage with new prospects, understand their customers and

mitigate risk. Annual subscription is £79.95 per year for unlimited

access. Providing company information and financial reports,

director and shareholder structures as well as a unique financial

health rating, balance sheets, ratio analysis, and any detrimental

data that might be associated with a company. Other services also

included in the subscription include a business names database,

acquisition targets, a data audit service as well as unlimited,

bespoke marketing and telesales listings for any sector.

Shoosmiths

Email: paula.swain@shoosmiths.co.uk

Tel: 03700 86 3000 W: www.shoosmiths.co.uk

Shoosmiths’ highly experienced team will work closely with credit

teams to recover commercial debts as quickly and cost effectively as

possible. We have an in depth knowledge of all areas of debt recovery,

including:

• Pre-litigation services to effect early recovery and keep costs down

• Litigation service

• Post-litigation services including enforcement

• Insolvency

As a client of Shoosmiths, you will find us quick to relate to your goals,

and adept at advising you on the most effective way of achieving them.

PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

Redwood Collections Ltd

0208 288 3555

enquiry@redwoodcollections.com

Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, CR0 0XZ

“Redwood Collections offers a complete portfolio of debt collection

services ranging from sensitive client-debtor mediation through to

legal and insolvency action.

Incorporated in 2009, we are pleased to represent in excess of

11,000 clients. Whatever your debt collection needs, we have the

expertise and resources to deliver a fast, efficient and cost-effective

solution.”

DATA AND ANALYTICS

Dun & Bradstreet

Marlow International, Parkway Marlow

Buckinghamshire SL7 1AJ

Telephone: (0800) 001-234 Website: www.dnb.co.uk

Dun & Bradstreet Finance Solutions enable modern finance

leaders and credit professionals to improve business performance

through more effective risk management, identification of growth

opportunities, and better integration of data and insights across the

business. Powered by our Data Cloud, our solutions provide access

to the world’s most comprehensive commercial data and insights

- supplying a continually updated view of business relationships

that helps finance and credit teams stay ahead of market shifts and

customer changes. Learn more here:

www.dnb.co.uk/modernfinance

C2FO

C2FO Ltd

105 Victoria Steet

SW1E 6QT

T: 07799 692193

E: anna.donadelli@c2fo.com

W: www.c2fo.com

C2FO turns receivables into cashflow and payables into income,

uniquely connecting buyers and suppliers to allow discounts in

exchange for early payment of approved invoices. Suppliers access

additional liquidity sources by accelerating payments from buyers

when required in just two clicks, at a rate that works for them.

Buyers, often corporates with global supply chains, benefit from the

C2FO solution by improving gross margin while strengthening the

financial health of supply chains through ethical business practices.

ESKER

Sam Townsend Head of Marketing

Northern Europe Esker Ltd.

T: +44 (0)1332 548176 M: +44 (0)791 2772 302

W: www.esker.co.uk LinkedIn: Esker – Northern Europe

Twitter: @EskerNEurope Esker.blog

Esker’s Accounts Receivable (AR) solution removes the all-toocommon

obstacles preventing today’s businesses from collecting

receivables in a timely manner. From invoice delivery to cash

application, Esker automates each step. Esker's automated AR

system powered by TermSync helps companies modernise without

replacing their core billing and collections processes. By simply

automating what should be automated, customers get the post-sale

experience they deserve and your team gets the tools they need.

FINANCIAL PR

Gravity London

Floor 6/7, Gravity London, 69 Wilson St, London, EC21 2BB

T: +44(0)207 330 8888. E: sfeast@gravitylondon.com

W: www.gravitylondon.com

Gravity is an award winning full service PR and advertising

business that is regularly benchmarked as being one of the best

in its field. It has a particular expertise in the credit sector, building

long-term relationships with some of the industry’s best-known

brands working on often challenging briefs. As the partner agency for

the Credit Services Association (CSA) for the past 13 years, and the

Chartered Institute of Credit Management since 2006, it understands

the key issues affecting the credit industry and what works and what

doesn’t in supporting its clients in the media and beyond.

FORUMS

FORUMS INTERNATIONAL

T: +44 (0)1246 555055

E: info@forumsinternational.co.uk

W: www.forumsinternational.co.uk

Forums International Ltd have been running Credit and Industry

Forums since 1991. We cover a range of industry sectors and

International trading, attendance is for Credit Professionals of all

levels. Our forums are not just meetings but communities which

aim to prepare our members for the challenges ahead. Attending

for the first time is free for you to gauge the benefits and meet the

members and we only have pre-approved Partners, so you will never

intentionally be sold to.

Bottomline Technologies

115 Chatham Street, Reading

Berks RG1 7JX | UK

T: 0870 081 8250 E: emea-info@bottomline.com

W: www.bottomline.com/uk

Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps businesses

pay and get paid. Businesses and banks rely on Bottomline for

domestic and international payments, effective cash management

tools, automated workflows for payment processing and bill

review and state of the art fraud detection, behavioural analytics

and regulatory compliance. Businesses around the world depend

on Bottomline solutions to help them pay and get paid, including

some of the world’s largest systemic banks, private and publicly

traded companies and Insurers. Every day, we help our customers

by making complex business payments simple, secure and seamless.

American Express

76 Buckingham Palace Road,

London. SW1W 9TQ

T: +44 (0)1273 696933

W: www.americanexpress.com

American Express is working in partnership with the CICM and is

a globally recognised provider of payment solutions to businesses.

Specialising in providing flexible collection capabilities to drive a

number of company objectives including:

•Accelerate cashflow •Improved DSO •Reduce risk

•Offer extended terms to customers

•Provide an additional line of bank independent credit to drive

growth •Create competitive advantage with your customers

As experts in the field of payments and with a global reach,

American Express is working with credit managers to drive growth

within businesses of all sectors. By creating an additional lever to

help support supplier/client relationships American Express is proud

to be an innovator in the business payments space.

Key IVR

T: +44 (0) 1302 513 000

E: sales@keyivr.com

W: www.keyivr.com

Key IVR are proud to have joined the Chartered Institute of Credit

Management’s Corporate partnership scheme. The CICM is a

recognised and trusted professional entity within credit management

and a perfect partner for Key IVR. We are delighted to be providing

our services to the CICM to assist with their membership collection

activities. Key IVR provides a suite of products to assist companies

across the globe with credit management. Our service is based

around giving the end-user the means to make a payment when and

how they choose. Using automated collection methods, such as a

secure telephone payment line (IVR), web and SMS allows companies

to free up valuable staff time away from typical debt collection.

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 66


Testimonial

‘‘We have been regular advertisers

in Credit Management (CM)

magazine for more than ten

years and have found it to be an

excellent medium for raising our

brand awareness and securing

major contracts.

By way of example, one of the

largest logistics firms in the world

approached us for our services

having seen our profile in CM.

This led to a very successful

relationship and gained us

significant credibility.

We would recommend advertising

in CM magazine to other

businesses’’

RECRUITMENT

PORTFOLIO

CREDIT CONTROL

Portfolio Credit Control

1 Finsbury Square, London. EC2A 1AE

T: 0207 650 3199

E: recruitment@portfoliocreditcontrol.com

W: www.portfoliocreditcontrol.com

Portfolio Credit Control, solely specialises in the recruitment of

permanent, temporary and contract Credit Control, Accounts

Receivable and Collections staff. Part of an award winning recruiter

we speak to and meet credit controllers all day everyday understanding

their skills and backgrounds to provide you with tried and tested credit

control professionals. We have achieved enormous growth because we

offer a uniquely specialist approach to our clients, with a commitment

to service delivery that exceeds your expectations every single time.

Hays Credit Management

107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN

T: 07834 260029

E: karen.young@hays.com

W: www.hays.co.uk/creditcontrol

Hays Credit Management is working in partnership with the CICM

and specialise in placing experts into credit control jobs and credit

management jobs. Hays understands the demands of this challenging

environment and the skills required to thrive within it. Whatever

your needs, we have temporary, permanent and contract based

opportunities to find your ideal role. Our candidate registration process

is unrivalled, including face-to-face screening interviews and a credit

control skills test developed exclusively for Hays by the CICM. We offer

CICM members a priority service and can provide advice across a wide

spectrum of job search and recruitment issues.

ARE YOU A LEADER

OR FOLLOWER?

CICMQ accreditation is a proven model

that has consistently delivered dramatic

improvements in cashflow and efficiency

CICMQ is the hallmark of industry

leading organisations

The CICM Best Practice Network is where

CICMQ accredited organisations come

together to develop, share and celebrate

best practice in credit and collections

BE A LEADER – JOIN THE CICM BEST

PRACTICE NETWORK TODAY

To find out more about flexible options

to gain CICMQ accreditation

E: cicmq@cicm.com T: 01780 722900

The Recognised Standard / www.cicm.com / November 2019 / PAGE 67


Taking control of debt

HCE Group helps you take back control of debt owed to you

or your client. With our wide range of enforcement services,

skilled enforcement agents and outstanding recovery rates,

our team is on hand to help.

When you choose us to enforce your writs of control, you

will find that we put service and performance right at the

heart of everything we do. We aim to not just meet, but also

exceed your expectations.

Instruct us for

Enforcement of judgments and tribunal awards

Eviction of activists, squatters and travellers

Eviction of commercial and residential tenants

Commercial landlord services

Tracing and process serving

Vehicle recovery and enquiry

To find out more or instruct us

08450 999 666

www.hcegroup.co.uk

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